Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday urged Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to take action against unregistered doctors and quacks in the state as per law.
In a letter to Naidu, Nadda said a pertinent issue which needed to be strictly tackled was one of unregistered medical practioners, who continued to exist in parts of the country and targeted the poor and uninformed patients.
Citing the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, which prohibits other than medical practioners enrolled on a state Medical Register to practise in the state, Nadda said that practising medicine without having a recognised medical qualification amounted to quackery and was punishable with both imprisonment and fine.
"Health being a state subject, it is a responsibility of the state government to deal with such matters. I request you to take appropriate action and corrective steps under the law against quacks and also evolve suitable policies to ensure availability of quality health workforce in rural areas," said Nadda in the letter.
The letter comes against the backdrop of a Government Order (GO) being issued by the state government, that sought to recognise rural practitioners as âcommunity paramedicsâ.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) strongly opposed the move, and said that this would result in âquacks practicing medicine.â
Speaking to The Hindu, IMA Ongole chapter secretary K Jayasekhar said, âWe have no objection to paramedics functioning as health workers in rural areas. But allowing them to provide modern healthcare services and also prescribe scheduled drugs will be only at the cost of peopleâs health.â