Quacks in India

Quacks in India claim majority

Have quacks become the lifeline for the minions in India? That is what the scenario looks like, particularly in rural India. It is an open secret that most Government hospitals in India function only in name, and that serves as a lacuna that is automatically filled in by con-men who take advantage of hapless patients. This is unfortunately a reality hardly anyone can deny.

What with the top brass in the health ministry or even the highest governing body of doctors in India, the Medical Council of India caught in the grasp of corruption, where is our healthcare system heading? Without doubt, we healthcare professionals in India are losing our credibility. There is a growing disregard for doctors and healthcare professionals in general in India, and sometimes the situation is almost close to being abysmal.

The Stark Reality

The doctors in rural India can be placed in two different brackets – some who have built a practice out of trust and self-sacrifice, while there are those that try to take advantage of the situation and misuse their status. Of course, there are those that claim to be “compounders” and “RMPs”, terms which have long been forgotten in Indian history. I had one incidence where this young chap who runs a pharmacy in the village comes to me and asks me to give him an authorization letter to practice. Well, you can be sure I gave him some corrective medicines. I am sure there will be many others who will be trying similar tactics to obtain false and outright nefarious documents from more honourable persons than me.

I am strictly against abortion and such practices out in the open by unauthorized personnel makes the crime even more ghastly. Another incident involving such a scenario occurred in my own native place.

A young lady, mother of three, lay in pain in the shabby little dwelling far away from civilized life. Hardly did I know that even in this simplistic setup would people be aware of abortion, much less that they have already borne the brunt of having it done by some quacks. She was in agony, running a high temperature and possibly was in a septic shock. With much coercion, she was taken to the nearest civil hospital where she was diagnosed to have a ruptured uterus with sepsis. She was operated on, and she survived to tell the tale.

Is this just another stray incident or is it just one to add to the numbers? To my surprise, it was revealed to me that this was a routine practice among numerous women in the village and most of them got it done by some quacks in a nearby township. The utter failure of the healthcare system to check such prolific growth in the number of people posing as doctors could only mean disaster.

Nexus between Pharmaceutical Companies and Quacks

This is a deadly combination when it comes to medical practice and it is better curbed in the bud. Numerous fledgling pharmaceutical companies patronize quacks because they get cheap source of marketing to hapless patients. Most villages in India are still without a doctor or proper healthcare facilities.

Quacks start giving highly priced medications to patients trying to cut huge margins and gifts from pharmaceutical companies. Ethics is not a criterion for these men – they are not bound by any oaths to safely manage patients. Unauthorized prescriptions are numerous and they make the impending antibiotic disaster a reality even in the remotest of villages. Antibiotics are being dispensed without any prescriptions and in dosages and duration inadequate for the treatment of the disease at hand.

Any Solutions at Hand?

I am afraid “NO”. The current condition of India’s health care is only the making of the socio-political scenario, wherein there is much corruption. It is only a pity that most PHCs and CHCs that were meant to serve the poverty-ridden in the villages of India, are defunct. They only exist in paper and in pay-rolls which some unscrupulous persons use to their benefit. Most of the appointments in these health care facilities are politically based and no proper selection criteria is ascertained. Many of those appointed to these centres hardly, if ever, have made their presence felt and if one tried, he or she is certain to feel the heat. Medicines provided in these facilities are also of poor quality and sparse in supply. This is what paves the way for con-men posing as health care providers.

I am writing here based on my experience in a remote part of the country, but looking at numerous reports in newspapers and other media, I am sure the scenario is not much different in other parts of the country.

There seems to be no ready-made solution to this problem.

The Outlook

Let us see if the new medical body in India can see any things through. I hope it does, because it is the poorest of the poor who bear the brunt of this misery. Quacks should be brought to the book and trained personnel should be placed and ensured that work is being done in these remote areas for the benefit of poor people.

Of course, ethical  practice should find its way back into the villages in India. It is then  that “Health for All” becomes a reality.

Quack Fix

• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo

I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.

5 comments… add one
  • It’s really sad but I agree with all you say here. I live in Amritsar and have experienced multiple situations that make doctors look bad all over. I have not been to any government establishments, they have all been private. After confiding some details to others that live here I learned that this is the worst city to seek medical care. I just wish I had known before a recent surgery that was performed on me without me knowing it was going to happen until they put the anesthesia in my IV. I’m not sure which of your categories this doctor would fit into but he was western educated and practiced in more than one country. Yet here he seems to be unconcerned about the treatment of his patients or the quality of care he provides. It’s just appalling what people are suffering through in this country. My heart breaks for the average Punjabi woman who is told to blindly trust the doctors. I’m glad you took the time to write this post. More people need to speak out about this kind of thing happening so that it can be stopped.

    • Thanks White Bhabi for your citing your experience. I hope too that many more will try and come up to stand for the cause.

  • I live in Purnia district of bihar. My district is the medical center, patient comes here from as far as 100 km. But my heart bleeds when I see how people get trapped by quacks and brokers. I think the condition is worst in entire world. There are thousand of quacks who practice in villeges and town. They dont have any fear of law. People are illeterate they cant diffrentiate between real doctors and quacks. Even in purnia infront of civil surgeon office there is huge market of clinics,pathology and radio diagnostic centres. Among doctors 10% are quacks. 90% of pathology and ultrasound centres are running by the persons who dont have any kind of medical degree(they are not even lab tecnicians). The civil surgeon and administration knows this but they got money ank keep their eyes shut.

    This article is written on 28/04/2012

    • I agree that this apathetic status exists in most metros and worst still, it lurks closer to hapless villagers because of the lackadiasical attitude of our health centres. Let’s support our doctors who are coming forward to serve the lesser privileged and downtrodden.

  • Please read true life story from Abuja, Nigeria
    This story is told by Alph Ekpenyong. It is heart-rending. See what unscrupulous Indians are doing to Nigerians on Nigerian soil:

    I am hurt and I wish to spread this news fast. If you had listened to the network news in FRCN this morning, this issue was seriously broadcasted and analyzed by the Reporter. It was also broadcast Monday last week.

    The Indian operated Specialist hospital in Karu Site, Abuja are Quacks, Fake, 419 and exploiters of Nigerians. If you know anybody going or planning to go to that hospital, please stop the person immediately.

    The hospital was built by FCT as Karu General hospital but all of a sudden it was leased to this killer Indians to operate as specialist hospital.

    Charges in this hospital is exploitative, only registration alone in N25, 000.00.


    In November 2011, my sister went to the Indian Hospital for Fibroid operation. The Indian thieves diagnosed her and said her case is very complex. She was charged a total of N700,000.00. On the day of operation, she was taken to the theatre and was Open up. What do I mean. She was torn OPEN-UP and stitched back without removing any fibroid. When she recovered from the effect of the Anastasia, they congratulated her for successful operation and that lumps of fibroid had been removed from her. My sister requested from the doctors to see the lumps which is a normal practice in every hospital, the Indian thieves said the lumps had been taken to lab for analysis, that they will show her later. Till today my sister have not sighted the fibroid lumps that was removed from her.
    From the night after the operation, my sister started feeling serious pains than what she had before. She complained to the Indian thieves, they said it will be okay and discharge after three days with the pains. She went home and had more pains than ever aside the torn wound. We decided in December 2011 to go for scan in another lab. The scan result shows that there are heavy lumps of fibroid in her and that there is absolutely no sign that any removal attempt had been carried out even though there is evident that she was opened up for surgery. We tried the scan in another specialist hospital in Asokoro, Abuja. It was the same result. My sister then disguised herself with another name and went for scan in the same Indian specialist hospital Abuja and they confirmed that she was open up but not an iota of fibroid was removed from her. My sister lied to the scan officers that the operation was done in Benin hence she will require a comprehensive report from the Indian Killer hospital and the they did a beautiful job in putting the whole report in black and white.

    January this year, my sister went for the same fibroid operation in another hospital in Asokoro, Abuja and she was operated successfully and the lumps of fibroid removed were shown, the operation was videoed and pictures of everything were taken and are well kept.

    She has written petitions to Medical and Dental Council of Niger, Nigerian Medical association, Minister of Health, and we making effort to present it to the National Assembly. Many media reporters have interviewed her, Some have written already. FRCN has carried twice as main news item.

    Investigation by media reveals that those Indians are quacks, they do not posses basic medical credentials. The Head of the hospital an Indian woman is not a medical doctor. The deputy is her son and not a medical doctor as well. A specialist hospital operating in a Nigerian Government Built Infrastructure does not have a medical director!

    Nigerian Medical Council have confirmed that this Indians were brought during the former Minister of FCT and were horridly given temporary permission to operate without passing through the normal registration procedure by the council.



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