Fed up with domination of omnipresent non-MBBS quacks in the district, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Warangal chapter is now contemplating to boycott them.
Steps to shun them from the clinics and hospitals run by IMA Warangal chapter’s 1,200-strong private and government medical sector members have already been initiated by IMA Warangal district president Dr M. Seshu Madhav, who discussed the issue during separate meetings held with office bearers of different specialist doctors’ associations in the last one week.
According to an estimate, 5-8 non-MBBS quacks are practicing in each of the 1,100 panchayats in Warangal. In contrast, the IMA Warangal chapter has only 1,200 registered medical practitioners with basic MBBS or specialist qualifications in Warangal.
In view of the prevailing commission system, sources said the average monthly income of a non-MBBS quack in some areas is between Rs.75,000 to Rs.1 lakh. The rise of the quacks in the medical profession is being attributed to the state’s decision to accord them legitimacy by giving them en masse three-month certification in first aid course during 2008-09.
Those who finished the course armed themselves with a new tag of RMP (rural medical practitioner), which is a misnomer as a real MBBS qualified doctor also shares the same acronym of an RMP (registered medical practiationer). Curiously, despite the similar acronym flaunted by non-MBBS quacks, there was no strong protest by the IMA or the qualified MBBS doctors when the quacks returned to their rural areas after their three-month course in 2008-09 with the new RMP tag.
This is being explained by the vastness of the area the 1,200 registered medical practitioners with IMA Warangal chapter had to practice in Warangal, whose population reached 35.22 lakh as per 2011 census. “With so many specialist doctors practising in the city, there is no way illiterate people can understand whom and where to approach for the treatment. This job was taken over by non-MBBS quack or the RMP, who collects 30 per cent of the total fees paid by a patient to a MBBS or specialist doctor as commission,” said a practising doctor.
Those in the medical profession in the city cite instances of how RMP quacks hire jeep to ferry patients from their respective village and leave them at specialist doctors for treatment. “We are likely to place the quackery ban issue before the IMA general body meeting and call for stringent action against the RMPs,” said IMA district president Dr M. Seshu Madhav, who attributed the dependence of MBBS and specialist doctors over RMPs to lack of a system of family physician.
The district health authorities rarely raid clinics run by quacks despite the fact that they are known to openly flout Medical Council of India guidelines.