A recent study threw up a rather bizarre and alarming happening spawning across the entirety of India’s society and geography. The study came up with a shocker where it claimed that many of India’s doctors are practitioners of medicine who lack even the minimum MBBS degree required for indulging in the trade. The study has dealt a heavy blow to the faithfulness of the people besides denting the nationwide image of the doctors.
What actually does the study say?
The study says that a huge percentage of doctors who are practising the trade of modern medicine are non-holders of MBBS degree which is in fact the minimum requirement to be eligible for practising modern medicine (Allopathy). It has been observed that the said illegal practitioners are either practitioners of alternative medicine like Homoeopathy or Ayurveda, or they absolutely lack any medical degrees whatsoever. Such endowments never entitle the said incompetent individuals to prescribe or practise allopathic medicine under any circumstances. The survey was held in 120 Indian cities (both metro and non-metro) hence confirming that the findings are concentrated on the happenings of the urban areas.
Why the illicit practitioners are in vogue?
Many factors drive the urge of people to head for illegal allopathic doctors. Primarily comes the monetary part. As a matter of fact, such doctors charge a much lower fee compared to their legal counterparts. This may be primarily due to their substandard qualifications, lack of infrastructure or exorbitant consultation fees of expert doctors. Another contributing factor is the severe shortage in the number of doctors and medical facilities especially in the smaller towns. Consequently it has been seen that proportionately, such illegal doctors are more rampant in the smaller cities rather than the metros.
How do these quacks fare?
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) feels that in India the number of such quacks is somewhere around 10 Lakh. Out of these numbers, 4 Lakh are reportedly practitioners of Indian medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. They have divided the quacks into 3 distinct groups. The first group comprises of individuals possessing no medical qualifications at all, second comes the group of individuals with no medical degrees in non-allopathic disciplines and lastly are the quacks with fake qualifications which do not exist at all. These said counterfeits are ruining the entire healthcare system of the nation and still are least bothered about the consequences. The system is even worse in the tertiary cities which suffer the most due to them. Regular cases of mistreatment and wrongful medical administering crop up throughout the nation’s entirety yet the tide never seems to ebb.
Necessitated steps in the reckoning
IMA has urgently appealed to the government to bring anti-quackery bills to stop the flourishing business of the counterfeit medical practitioners. They are not only ruining the healthcare system but also playing with people’s faith and money. The infrastructure as well as the number of doctors needs to be alleviated with immediate effect. IMA is contemplating a hike in the number of MBBS seats in various nationwide colleges to fill in the yawning gap in the availability of doctors compared to the actual requirement. Most importantly the government needs to be diligent in improving the state of affairs in the healthcare sector.