Govt system fails, quacks thrive: Shastri


NEW DELHI: State health minister Yoganand Shastri, on Tuesday admitted that the failure of the government healthcare infrastructure to reach the poor and those living in the far-flung corners of Delhi, had caused the proliferation of quacks. "The estimated 20,000 quacks of Delhi thrive in unauthorised colonies and slums. Even though government hospitals and dispensaries provide treatment for free, reaching there often takes time and there is also expenditure on conveyance. The quack, in such circumstances, becomes a much easier and cheaper option," Shastri said.

The problem is most severe in East and Outer Delhi and in the peripheral areas like Kanjhawala, Nangloi and Najafgarh."The latter are the worst affected. The state of healthcare in these parts can be gauged by the fact that an estimated 30 per cent of the patients coming to the hospitals of Delhi, are from outside the city," he added. Meanwhile, the state health department in the persistent raids conducted in parts of the city over the last ten days, has forced 15 unregistered doctors in Janakpuri and Uttam Nagar areas, to shut shop. No prosecution measures have been undertaken.

"We have taken a written undertaking from all these doctors that they will not practise till the time they get registered with the concerned medical board," the minister said.The drive was strengthened by the department, following the death of a 16-year-old girl in Dabri , after which the minister has reportedly been deluged with pleas from unregistered doctors to be spared the rod.