• 11 clinics run by teachers, sericulture employees, school dropouts sealed
• CMOs asked to stop practice of practitioners without qualification, registration
• Drug Controller issues show cause notices to violators
After the government’s ongoing crackdown against fake doctors and medical practitioners in north Kashmir’s Pattan township, many quacks have shut their pharmacist shops and clinics and gone into hiding.
The move comes a day after health authorities found 16 government school teachers running pharmacies in Burn village of the area.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Pattan, Masarat Iqbal Wani said despite facing tough resistance, they were continuing drive against illegal clinics and druggists.
He said in a fresh drive at Chenabal, Mirgund, Yakmanpora, Devar and Khanpath areas of Pattan, at least 11 more clinics running without licenses had been sealed Thursday evening.
“Of the eleven clinics, three were run by government school teachers, one by a sericulture employee, one by a pharmacist without registration while the rest were school dropouts, which was shocking,” he said.
Fearing legal action, Wani said after the evening drive, many fake medicos and pharmacy owners had shut their shops and were absconding.
In the past 10 days, a total of 44 clinics and pharmacies illegally prescribing medicine to patients had been sealed in Pattan.
The health officials blame quacks for contracting dangerous diseases like HIV, AIDS and hepatitis in the area.
“During the operation, the clinics that are found illegal are photographed and their report is being sent to the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir,” Wani said.
There has been a mushroom growth of quacks in each nook and corner of the Valley, especially outside the peripheral hospitals.
“The illegal clinical establishments and fake practitioners have damaged kidneys and other organs of hundreds of patients by prescribing steroids and unnecessary medicines,” a doctor at SDH Pattan said.
Over the years, both Drug and Food Control Organisation J&K and Health department failed to take action against fake chemists, however, people believe the fresh move might end irregularity.
However, a top official in the Health department questioned how these quacks were running these shops.
“We didn’t see any action in the past by the drug control people and they are in a deep slumber,” he said.
Drug Controller, J&K, Lotika Khajuria said they have served show cause notices to the violators adding that the legal action would be followed soon.
“We have to follow a procedure. We will take action against the fake practitioners and those who have unauthorizedly shifted from one place to another. Give us time and something positive will happen,” she said.
Khajuria said unregistered pharmacies and clinics run by fake doctors had been sealed.
“Our domain is only chemist shops,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Health department has issued a notice and asked all Chief Medical Officers not to allow any person to practice or to prescribe medicines without proper qualification or registration from concerned authorities.
“If any person in any district is found practising illegally, his or her clinic should be sealed forthwith,” reads a circular issued by the Director General, Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Saleem Ur Rehman.
He said the Chief Medical Officer would initiate action against any person found involved in the practice without registration from the council in any district.
Pertinently, the Health authorities have sought suspension of the employees involved in the practice from their respective departments.
The move comes after Tariq Ahmad Telli, a self-proclaimed doctor, was exposed and later arrested after it came to light that as he was practising at three different clinics in north Kashmir without having necessary qualifications.
An FIR has also been lodged against Telli and famous Dar Medicate Hyderbeigh, Pattan with officials saying, “Stringent action will be taken against them.”