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?Dr? beware! State Govt cracks the whip on quacks, fake institutes

NO UNAUTHORISED person would be able to use the prefix ?Dr? before his or her name, and if found guilty of violation, the person would be liable for three years? imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2006 14:00 IST

NO UNAUTHORISED person would be able to use the prefix ‘Dr’ before his or her name, and if found guilty of violation, the person would be liable for three years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000.

Besides, any unauthorised institute that imparts fake degrees in any field of medical education would also be strictly dealt with now.

State Health and Medical Education Minister Ajay Vishnoi informed at a press conference in Vallabh Bhavan today that all those involved with the establishment, administration or working of such an unrecognised institute would be liable for three years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs one lakh.

Moreover, an additional fine of Rs 1000 per day would also be charged for each day it operates after the announcement of its de-recognition.

Vishnoi said that these are the major clauses included in the ‘Madhya Pradesh Chikitsiya Shiksha Sanstha (Niyantran) Sanshodhan Vidheyak, 2006’ that was passed in the State Assembly today.

“The new act with amendments would be enforced from the date it is published in the gazette,’’ Vishnoi stated. He added that the gazette notification would be made in about a week or ten days.

Vishnoi pointed out that Madhya Pradesh was probably the first to bring out such amendments in the 1973 law. He added that it was also for the first time that efforts had been made to define the terms `medical education’ and ‘doctor’.
“Any institute that wants to get recognized to run medical education courses should apply within 30 days of the enforcement of this act,’’ Vishnoi informed.

Further, he pointed out that all institutes which do not fulfill the requirements of this act and want to close down, should also inform the state government about themselves within sixty days of the enforcement of the act.

“We would carry out regular inspections after enforcing the act and any institute or person found violating rules would be severely penalized,’’ the minister asserted. He maintained the main motive behind the amendments was to check the problem of quacks in the bud by taking action on the very institutes that produced them.

The minister emphasized that the problem was of a gargantuan magnitude and even the state government did not have any idea about the number of such fraudulent institutes running in the state. “We still do not know how many fake institutes are operating or how many quacks they have created till now,’’ he maintained.

“We do not want to act merely against quacks but also against unrecognized institutes that create quacks by doling out fake degrees by the dozen,’’ Vishnoi reasoned.

He added that several unrecognized courses like electro-homeopathy and alternative medicine were being run by fake institutes and the new amendments in the act were aimed precisely at countering that problem strictly.

First Published: Mar 25, 2006 14:00 IST