Quacks can be detrimental to life; exercising caution against them is harm reduction!

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

About 57% of those practicing modern medicine in India may be quacks, as per WHO

New Delhi, 1 March 2019: Studies suggest that in India, the mantra of scientific data and evidence is often not the basis of beliefs. Social media, ‘cure-mongers’, ‘quacks’ and ‘diet gurus’ issue medical diktats and people are inclined to be attracted to alternative, unscientific treatment methods. These leave some people confused and others undertake these measures believing in them. From hoax and fake news on chronic diseases such as diabetes to the miracle remedies that offer cure for these, there is a plethora of news flooding social media, and can be dangerous to health.

Effective communication to the masses is never taught in medical schools. On the other hand, quacks, frauds and fake godmen (and even some retired, disgruntled physicians) deliver incorrect/fake statements effectively. One retired physician even told people that the best thing to do if one has a heart attack is to stay at home and do nothing; if one goes to a hospital, one would surely die!

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “It is the ability to anticipate, recognize and the quickness shown in managing any complication that marks a distinguishing characteristic of a “good” doctor and sets him/her apart from others. To acquire these clinical and procedural skills, a doctor undergoes years of rigorous study and training. Only then do they acquire adequate knowledge, discernment and develop skills to take the right decision for the patient and adapt to changing practices. However, today, quacks are flourishing in our society. They are obviously untrained and lack the ability to diagnose or treat patients, particularly emergency or complication. They cannot render timely first aid. Although it is their routine practice to refer patients to hospitals or higher centers, but precious time is lost. They can hardly be expected to be aware of the concepts of the “Golden hour” or the “Platinum 10 minutes”. And, the outcome often is patient succumbing to his illness.”

Statistics by the WHO indicate that about 57% practicing modern medicine in India may be quacks. This count only seems to increase with most of them possessing nothing more than a school education. Framed certificates and diplomas adorn their “clinics”and these are easily fabricated by offering money.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “There is an urgent need for a central act against quackery. Quackery is a huge issue today. Unqualified people are prescribing medication they are not even aware of. This leads to complications and further we, doctors, are accused of neglect. It also leads to mortality in our hospitals, reaching numbers which we are not even aware of sometimes due to lack of adequate data.”

Beware of quacks as they indulge in cuts and commissions, will never refer the patient in time, invariably give steroids in every case, and will over investigate the patient to appear genuine. On the other hand, people should have faith in registered and qualified doctors as they do not indulge in unethical practices, do not take or give commissions, work with the primary aim and dharma of healing and not financial gain, believe in Karma and not Kriya, and will always guide patients with the best of interest.

Can you be punished for something, which is not a part of the charge sheet?

Health Care Comments Off

The judgement of the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Snigdhendu Ghosh vs State of West Bengal & Ors on 19 July, 2018 has answered many questions that arise when a medical negligence case is filed against a doctor, as follows:

  • Limitation period in filing a complaint
  • Can you be punished for something which is not a part of the charge sheet?
  • When can you appeal to GOI as a remedy?
  • Can the high courts interfere before all the remedies are exhausted?
  • Can a council go to the Supreme Court? (This is like the lower court going to the Supreme Court against a High Court order)
  • Is error of judgment negligence?
  • Does giving three antibiotics in typhoid amounts to negligence?
  • Is error in judgment an infamous act?
  • When to pass a judgment in interim stage?
  • Is it necessary for the council to give reasoned judgments?
  • What are the principles of natural justice?
  • When challenging a council decision, is it not necessary to make the patient a party?
  • Can a doctor file compensation from council for wrong decision?
  • What did the Supreme Court do in this case?

West Bengal Medical Council vs Dr. Snigdhendu Ghosh on 20 February, 2019/ SLP/ 4132/2019/ Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 19-07-2018 in MAT No. 28/2018 passed by the High Court At Calcutta).This petition was called on for hearing on 20-02-2019.

Coram: Honble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Honble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha

Order: No case is made out to interfere with the impugned order (s) passed by the High Court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed. However, this order shall not be treated as a precedent. Pending application(s), if any, shall stands disposed of.

Read the High Court Order 1 here ….

Read High Court Order No. 2 here ….

Can you be punished for something, which is not a part of the charge sheet?

Health Care Comments Off

The judgement of the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Snigdhendu Ghosh vs State of West Bengal & Ors on 19 July, 2018 has answered many questions that arise when a medical negligence case is filed against a doctor, as follows:

  • Limitation period in filing a complaint
  • Can you be punished for something which is not a part of the charge sheet?
  • When can you appeal to GOI as a remedy?
  • Can the high courts interfere before all the remedies are exhausted?
  • Can a council go to the Supreme Court? (This is like the lower court going to the Supreme Court against a High Court order)
  • Is error of judgment negligence?
  • Does giving three antibiotics in typhoid amounts to negligence?
  • Is error in judgment an infamous act?
  • When to pass a judgment in interim stage?
  • Is it necessary for the council to give reasoned judgments?
  • What are the principles of natural justice?
  • When challenging a council decision, is it not necessary to make the patient a party?
  • Can a doctor file compensation from council for wrong decision?
  • What did the Supreme Court do in this case?

West Bengal Medical Council vs Dr. Snigdhendu Ghosh on 20 February, 2019/ SLP/ 4132/2019/ Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 19-07-2018 in MAT No. 28/2018 passed by the High Court At Calcutta).This petition was called on for hearing on 20-02-2019.

Coram: Honble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Honble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha

Order: No case is made out to interfere with the impugned order (s) passed by the High Court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed. However, this order shall not be treated as a precedent. Pending application(s), if any, shall stands disposed of.

Read the High Court Order 1 here ….

Read High Court Order No. 2 here ….