Millennium Post

Centre likely to ban practice of quacks

Kolkata: The future of around 2 lakh quacks performing initial treatment on patients, particularly in the rural areas of Bengal, may not be allowed to practice anymore as the Centre has decided to impose a ban on them.
It may be mentioned here that the state government had started a training initiative for these quacks to equip them in a better way, so that they could provide the basic treatment in the remote areas of the state.
Considering the fact that there is a shortage of doctors in the rural health centres, the Bengal government had started a certificate course for quacks in basic medicine, ethics of medical practice and legalities, so that they can take health care to the grassroot level in the state.
In many cases, it was found that medical practitioners were unwilling to go to the villages.
According to an estimate, there are around 2 lakh quacks who are active across the state. The training initiative, with a duration of six months, had started for the first batch in which 3,000 candidates had participated.
The main purpose of this was to create "informal health care providers", who would have basic training on health care. The minimum qualification required of a candidate for training as an informal health care provider is higher secondary or equivalent.
These quacks were mostly given training on when they have to send a patient to a doctor and what to do when someone requires immediate life saving intervention.
As a part of their training, the quacks have been informed about the legal implications of prescribing drugs by unauthorised persons.
The Union cabinet on Wednesday recommended stringent punishment for unqualified medical practitioners or quacks.
The Centre has felt the need to take strong action against unqualified medical practitioners.
There is also a proposal in the proposed National Medical Commission Bill, that the punishment for any unauthorised practice of medicine should be checked. If anybody is found practicing without a valid registration, he/she might face imprisonment up to one year, along with a fine extending up to Rs 5 lakh.

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