Delhi Medical Council to conduct survey in Delhi to estimate the number of quacks
New Delhi: The Delhi Medical Council (DMC), as statutory body that governs the practice of modern medicine in the state, will undertake survey to estimate the number of quacks in the city. Till now, the council has been going with a rough figure of 50,000, although officials remain unaware of how the figure was arrived at.
“We have been going with this number; however, there is no study or survey to support it. And, I think it is grossly overestimated. A total of 50,000 quacks would mean over 700 quacks in one assembly constituency and one quack for every 400 Delhi residents, which is not possible. We have to learn the extent of the problem first and then plan to make the state quack-free,” said Dr Arun Gupta, president of the DMC.
The DMC has invited expression of interest non-governmental organisations and survey and research organisations who can conduct a door-to-door survey and tag quacks to find the actual numbers.
“Currently, we work on tip offs and raid clinics we suspect are run by the quack. In many cases, the quacks are tipped off and we are not able to catch them or keep them in because they are well connected with the cops. And, when the cases proceed to court, we have seen the quacks continuing with their practice as the cases drag on,” said Dr Gupta.
Once the estimates are done, the DMC with the help of the government will look at plans to rehabilitate the quacks and provide better primary healthcare.
“The approach to ridding Delhi of quacks will have to be positive. Once we estimate the number of people practicing like this, we can approach the government to organise short-term free medical technician courses for them, which will bring them into the existing system,” said Dr Gupta.
There is a huge need for medical technicians like lab technician, OT technician, X-ray technician as hospitals require more than five times as many medical technicians as doctors, according to Dr Gupta.
Apart from that, the survey will also help the DMC and the government in mapping areas with high density of quacks. “The reason quacks flourish in an area is because there is no alternative medical facility available to the people of that area. So, the government will be able to estimate the need for primary health centres in areas where the number of quacks is high,” said Dr Girish Tyagi, registrar of DMC.
The DMC will also focus on creating awareness about who is a “real doctor” and why should people go only to a qualified person.