People for Better Treatment (PBT)
Voice of Women and Families in India (VOW)
Chidrens’ Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP)
Date : 13-12-2011
Hon’ble D V Sadananda Gowda
Hon’ble Chief Minister
Government of Karnataka.
Sub : Karnataka Health Service – Introduction of Anti Quackery Bill / Act
to save the lives of innocent public of Karnataka – Request
Warm greetings from CRISP, VOW India and Karnataka State Chapter of People for Better Treatment (PBT).
Allopathic system of Medicine is a Scientific Evidence based medicine being offered to the citizen of Karnataka by Qualified Medical practitioners of Medicine whose basic medical qualification in MBBS. In society there are many number of other system Doctors and unqualified persons misusing Allopathic system of Medicine to the sick leading to loss of precious lives, or multiple serious complications of stomach, liver, kidney etc. i.e. Serious Morbidity and Mortality.
This results in prolongation of illness and complicates the illness, so that subsequent treatment by qualified Doctors also may not yield the desired outcome. This is an unchecked menace in rural and urban of Karnataka. These “Quacks” exploit the ignorance of the under privileged and uneducated mass of our state.
More than 70% of Rural populations below the poverty line depends only on Primary Health Centres and Rural Allopathic Doctors for Health care. It is unfortunate that unqualified quacks – with some political and local influence have attracted the rural population with substandard treatment and. It is very difficult to do ethical practice competing with Quacks.
We are requesting the Government of Karnataka to eradicate quackery. But so for no mass action was taken against the quacks. It is mandatory to take mass action to eradicate quackery from Karnataka and to save the innocent people who are loosing their health and life’s due to quacks in the society.
The Government has specifically told earlier that the Government is considering bringing specific legislation to curb the quacks in medical profession. The police officers have to be directed to organize periodical raids along with Health Department Official. But no effective action is taken so far either for periodical raids or for to bring any specific legislation to curb quackery.
We submit that the punishment for practicing Quackery as per Medical Council Act 15(2) b and 15 (3) are only 1 year imprisonment and Rs.1000/- punishment, which is the lowest punishment. After one year punishment – the Quack will restart practice in some other areas. Hence in the proposed Anti Quackery Bill (similar to That functioning in Delhi and Tamil Nadu) – Quacks should be booked only in non-bailable section and minimum punishment should be not less than 10 years. If the same Quack started Allopathic practice again after punishment he should be give life time imprisonment.
By playing with the life of poor patients is more serious than causing physical injuries. At present Quacks can be punished under the following sections:
IPC 419 Attempt of Cheating
IPC 420 Cheating
IPC 338 Inject Drugs causing damage to the body
IPC 471 Keeping fake Documents.
They must be booked Under IPC 307 (attempt to Murder). Hence we request the Government of Karnataka to come out with an ANTI-QUACKERY ACT. Even through the Medical Council Act, Indian Medical Degrees Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, various sections of IPC are there, we need a strong ANTI-QUACKERY LAW to be enforced in Karnataka so that effective action can be taken against the quacks.
Unless a separate act is passed like Anti Corruption wing, Civil Protection Act, etc., it will not be possible to eradicate Quackery.
We are also attaching a copy of Delhi Anti quackery bill for the plan of action.
Hence we request you Sir, as the custodian of Health of our state, to seriously consider out request and issue a Bill to Eradicate Quackery in Karnataka. This will safeguard innocent lives in Karnataka.
We are confident of yours speedy and justifiable action. We are willing to give our inputs for the Anti-Quackery Bill and/or Cell.
Voice of Women and Families in India, CRISP (Children’s Rights Initiative for Better Treatment), PBT (People for Better Treatment)
Chronology of Actions against Quackery in Karnataka
1. An anti-quackery cell set up in 1983 by the health and family welfare department
2. In order to curb the practice of quackery, the Supreme Court had passed a judgement on October 8, 1998, to identify the quack doctors.
3. As per the order, Director of Health and Family Welfare department had issued a circular No. MDL, 14: 2000-01 dated November 4, 2000.
4. HC order on March 7, 2001 directing the DGP to take action against unregistered medical practitioners.
5. Government circular dated November 28, 2001 to the district administration to take action against doctors practising any recognised system of medicine other than the one in which they are registered, is not being implemented.
6. HC order on March 1, 2002 that on any complaint filed against unqualified or fake practitioners, the government is competent to take action.
7. On August 17, 2002, Health and Family Welfare Minister Kagodu Thimmappa announced an ordinance would be promulgated to check the menace of quacks.
8. Karnataka government passed a notification No. HFW215/PIM-2007 dated December 13, 2007 to control the quack doctors to register Ayurveda Board, District Ayush officers and District Family welfare officers.