LUCKNOW: A serious systemic gap seems to exist at the core of quackery malpractice in UP. And the gap became all the more evident during the drive against quacks launched by the health department team in the state capital. Consider this: As many as 15 of the 40 doctors nabbed by the health team were qualified AYUSH doctors — four ayurvedic, five unani and six homeopaths. But they were too involved in ‘malpractice’, which also amounts to quackery. All these doctors are accused of prescribing allopathic medicines as the base for the ‘powders’ and ‘tincture tonics’ that they were giving to their patients.
In their case sheets, the raiding team has documented how they were grinding banned pain killers and cortico steroids in their mortars and giving them to the patients. “They were in fact mixing medicines of different natures and purposes into one. The powder that they giving are medically bio-incompatible, which can lead to adverse drug reactions,” said Dr SNS Yadav, chief medical officer (CMO), Lucknow. He added that the mixtures being used by these doctors may give relief to the patient, but then that tends to cause kidney and liver damage in the long run.
He informed that the doctors were giving fake injection shots to create the placebo effect. In most cases, either saline solution or small doses of gentamicin – a very cheap antibiotic – was being used as the placebo. “We found that a vial of gentamycin was being used to administer injection shots routinely to all patients irrespective of whether the patient needed it or not,” said a team member. The doctors at CMO office stated that they used the word placebo for antibiotic only because the dose was so small that it was nothing more a visible than a prick.
The AYUSH doctors however defended themselves stating that they learnt about allopathic medicines during their internship period. As per rules, AYUSH doctors are posted in government hospitals and health centres for practical training. “All through the training period we gave allopathic medicines to the patients and attended them the way a medical graduate should. So, when we use the same knowledge in real life, we land on the wrong side of the law,” said ahomeopathy doctor.
Experts in medical education however shatter the myth. “The focus of the internship is to make the students get used to emergency situation. As far as the action of giving allopathic medicines is concerned, it is done under the supervision of a qualified and authorised person,” said an office bearer in the government doctors association. He agreed that internship of AYUSH doctors in medical centres could have created confusion in the mind of some doctors, but the benefits of the system cannot be negated.
Meanwhile, health officials stated that since the AYUSH doctors were caught for the first time, they are not recommending cancellation of their license. But they will have to comply with legal and police action, though most of them are on bail [Source]