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Quacks rule the roost

Quacks rule the roost
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Highlights

While the government was struggling to improve the infrastructure and increase the hospital strength, it is the quacks whose clinics are being swarmed by the poor patients for routine ailments like fever, diarrhoea, malaria, anemia, hypertension, urinary tract infections and other common diseases. Other than the quacks, faith healers and unqualified para medical staff, too, are reaping rich benef

Visakhapatnam: While the government was struggling to improve the infrastructure and increase the hospital strength, it is the quacks whose clinics are being swarmed by the poor patients for routine ailments like fever, diarrhoea, malaria, anemia, hypertension, urinary tract infections and other common diseases. Other than the quacks, faith healers and unqualified para medical staff, too, are reaping rich benefits.

Highlights:

  • Quacks deal with minor health disorders, which are not covered under any health schemes floated by the government, says Varalamma, a fruit vendor
  • Dr Srinivas, general physician at King George Hospital, says that around 8,000 to 10,000 quacks are practising in the city who treat the gullible patients
  • When things go wrong, they refer the patients to the government hospitals or qualified doctors
  • More than the city, quacks are present in large numbers in the Agency areas where there is no adequate healthcare system, says a senior medical practitioner

Varalamma, a fruit vendor in Gajuwaka market area, said that the local practitioners were also available at any time where as it was expensive to get treatment from the corporate hospitals.The quacks deal with minor health disorders, which are not covered under any health schemes floated by the government, she said.

Kanaka, a pan shop owner, says that people at Malkapuram area were mostly illiterate. She said an unauthorised medical practitioner has been treating patients since 15 years and won the public trust.Citing how dangerous it was to get treatment from a quack, L N Murthy, a welding shop owner at Kancharpalem, said that he, too, paid a visit to a local quack for treatment of an injury to his leg. The quack performed a surgery that went wrong.

When questioned, the quack disappeared from the area for good. Finally, he got treatment at King George Hospital and now he is able to walk.Dr Srinivas, general physician at King George Hospital, told this correspondent that around 8,000 to 10,000 quacks are practising in the city who treat the gullible patients. When things go wrong, they refer the patients to the government hospitals or qualified doctors.

Quoting WHO report, Dr Srinvas said more than half of the doctors in the country are treating patients without holding any formal degree.Dr K Phanindhra, a chest physician at MVP Colony, says that the people have the habit of approaching medical shop and if the disease is not cured, they turn to the hospitals.

District medical and health officer Nistala Uma Sundari admitted to the large existence of quacks and said there was no data on them. She also added that due to lack of manpower the government hospitals do not have special wings in every hospital.
“Our programming officers are responding on the complaints on such unauthorised medical practitioners and they are doing their best,’’ she said. More than the city, quacks are present in large numbers in the Agency areas where there is no adequate healthcare system,’’ said a senior medical practitioner.

By Phani Suni

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