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Quacks have no place in health system

THE news report “Quacks at work in top hospitals too” (Jan 31) raises an important issue. Quacks not only play with patients’ lives, but also bring disrepute to reputed hospitals. They are a blot on the medical profession and dent patients’ trust in doctors. Another area of major concern is the menace of fake medicines. The Tribune had reported incidents where patients have died due to spurious medicines. Both fake doctors and fake medicines undermine the health system. The authorities concerned must take stringent action before it is too late.

Dr SANJIV GUPTA, Perth, Australia



It is good news that the Medical Council of India (MCI) is talking about stringent punishment for quacks under the proposed draft Bill, which was prepared in 2003. Why did the MCI not initiate efforts to press for the first comprehensive anti-quackery legislation whereas the draft Bill has been gathering dust for the last seven years?

It is shocking to note that two lakh fake doctors are playing with the lives of patients in the country. The health authorities of states and union territories should conduct verification drives and identify quacks and take exemplary action against them.


Say ‘no’ to Bt brinjal

Release of Bt brinjal may present a serious risk to human and animal health. The GM aubergine is unfit for consumption. That is the verdict of French scientist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), who carried out the first ever-independent assessment of Monsanto-Mahyco’s dossier on toxicity tests submitted to the Indian regulatory authorities.

Professor Seralini was commissioned by the Greenpeace India to do the assessment. Now, when the Government of India is gearing up to give a nod to Bt brinjal, NGOs, farmers and the common people are raising their voice against it. When Bt brinjal has been banned by several developed nations India too should be cautious. When farmers of our country are producing brinjal in large quantities, we do not need any genetically produced brinjal. 


Dowry menace

The dowry system is a malaise and undermines the status and position of women. The greed for dowry has destroyed the lives of many innocent girls. They are tortured physically as well as mentally.

We cannot stop this social evil merely by shouting slogans and holding demonstrations. Women will have to take a stand. They should become economically independent and refuse to marry dowry seekers. Men too should take a vow not to demand or accept dowry.


Regulate clinics

The editorial Law on clinics (Jan 30) has aptly pointed out that regulation alone is not the answer to the woes of poor patients, who are being exploited by unscrupulous medical practitioners. The need for such a law was felt urgently during the past few years on account of deficiencies in services. The approval of Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill is a welcome move in this respect. Medical practice in the private sector has become a money-making enterprise. Big business houses have established big hospitals in the name of healthcare which are in effect no more than money-minting enterprises. Such a business has thrived on account of apathy shown by the government as its spending on public health is merely 1 per cent of the GDP.

The right to health is one of the basic needs of mankind. The government has miserably failed in fulfilling this right. Medical treatment has become exorbitantly expensive and eludes poor patients. However, the bill has certain basic lacunas. The sentence of imprisonment on failure to pay fine should be provided for.

AJAY K JINDAL, Advocate, Ludhiana



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