Quackery thrives in Karachi’s suburbs

KARACHI: Provincial Health Department and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) have failed devise a comprehensive strategy to eliminate illegal practices of quack doctors in Karachi as city’s suburban areas have become hubs of illegal dental and medical clinics, PPI learned on Thursday.

Hundreds of illegal dental and medical clinics have been operating across the city especially in suburban areas without any check and balance. These dental and medical clinics and maternity homes are being run by quacks without any medical certificate or degree.

The areas of Saddar, Lea Market, Lyari, Mauripur, Quaidabad, Landhi and Malir have become hubs of illegal clinics and maternity homes. The illegal medical practices are also are on peak in the slums areas of North Karachi, North Nazimbad, New Karachi, Surjani Town, Orangi and Sohrab Goth.

The provincial health department Karachi and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had launched many drives against quacks in past but unfortunately these drives could not produce the desired results due poor planning and lack of coordination amongst concerned departments.

These unauthorized private hospitals, dental clinics, medical clinics and maternity homes are also a major source of spread of various lethal diseases including hepatitis B, C and HIV/ADIS.

According to a Pakistan Medical Association report over 60,000 quacks are playing with lives of Karachiites and a comprehensive crackdown is badly needed to eliminate quackery practices in the city.

Finance Secretary, PMA (Pakistan Medical Association – Central), Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said Anti-Quackery Bill has been awaiting approval in Sindh Assembly since long, adding the assembly should approve this bill as soon as possible which will greatly help to eliminate quackery across the province.

He said quacks running dental & medical clinics across the city are the real source of prevalence of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS diseases in society. He said there is no concept of sterilization of medical instruments and use of new syringe in these dental and medical clinics.

Director Health Karachi Zafar Ejaz said shortage of manpower and non-existence of a proper registration system in the province are the major reason behind the failure of previous drives against quackery.

He said proper law and its implementation are needed to eliminate quackery in the city. He said as per Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) rules and regulations we are only authorized to register FIR against quack doctors.