The royal city's footpaths have turned into a safe haven for quacks as they continue to run their business freely under the health department's nose and cheat the poor people.
Most of the quacks operate in the interiors and suburbs of Patiala, however one can easily spot them even on the main roads including malls, Bhadson and Shera Wala Gate and elsewhere.
The quacks not only misguide people by wrongly diagnosing them, but also prescribe steroids, sale cheap homemade remedies and expired antibiotics.
These untrained quacks extract teeth, fill cavities, create dentures and deceive patients with faulty dignosis that often leads to fatal results. However, no concrete step has been taken by the health department against the charlatans, who claim themselves to be 'doctors'.
These quacks boost their business by cheating those, who have little or no access to health facilities.
Raja, a local shopkeeper said, "I don't think the medicines prescribed by the roadside hakims work. But that's what most people can afford."
The district health authorities said they had been conducting regular raids to remove the quacks from the city.
Assistant chief medical officer Dr Parchotam defended the department's apathetic attitude towards the issue and said, "It is difficult to trace the quacks since they have no permanent place of business. Hence we cannot lodge an FIR against them. We can just remove them whenever they are spotted," he said.
Though the department claims to have been conducting raids, still, for more than a decade, near Khalsa College, one of the posh areas of the city, the quacks have been selling medicines and running their business unrestrained.