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Target for health officials: Book at least 10 quacks a month
Chennai: Concerned at the increasing number of quacks surfacing every other day, the state health department has issued a directive to all joint directors in the district under the directorate of medical services: Book cases against at least 10 quacks every month.
The directive, sent to officials in first week of November 2016, said they should develop an intelligence network, investigate cases at the field level and provide a detailed report in a prescribed format to the state enforcement cell for initiation of appropriate action. "We have been cracking down on quacks across the state but we realise the present team in the state headquarters will be inadequate. Ground reports show there are thousands spread across both rural and urban areas, including cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. Even if we book them, they come out on bail and start practice. We will have to systematically stop this menace," said a senior health official refusing to be named.

Report highlights malpractice in Indian healthcare sector
Irrational prescriptions, bribes for referrals and unnecessary investigations are the most common forms of corruption in India’s health sector, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported.
On 24 February 2015, BMJ published three papers on medical malpractice, regulations and whistleblower protection in India, raising serious concerns over healthcare fraud in the country. In a series of interviews, Arun Gadre, a Pune-based gynaecologist and health activist, recorded statements of 78 doctors from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Of them, 64 were private practitioners, five were from government institutes and nine from charitable hospitals.

Medical Malpractice
In 1992, the Kerala High Court extended the 1986 Consumer Protection Act to medical malpractice and negligence. While activists and consumer protection groups welcomed this, most physicians were unanimous in their opposition and promptly took this to the Supreme Court (1). The Kerala High Court's opinion was upheld by the Supreme Court. Rules were drawn up and appropriate courts established in all states to handle consumer complaints. While the lay press has published many accounts of its aftermath, mainstream medical journals have been surprisingly silent. In contrast, several articles have appeared in the pages of this Journal (2, 3, 4, 5)..
Almost a decade after the High Court ruling, panelists at an annual Tamil Nadu Orthopaedic Association meeting (3) expressed that the Act was needed as unethical practices had become common in the medical profession and the Act had forced an improvement in the equipment of nursing homes. The lawyers on the panel thought that the present Act needed fine-tuning.