LAHORE: The Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) has sealed 118 clinics of fake medical practitioners in the last three days across the province during a crackdown against illegal quackery business.
The PHC’s Anti-Quackery Cell not only sealed these clinics but also imposed a collective fine of Rs0.7 million on them. In Faisalabad 25 clinics were sealed, 21 in Toba Tek Singh, 20 in Rahim Yar Khan, 10 clinics in Mandi Bahauddin and Khanewal, six in Narowal, five in Okara, four in Sahiwal, Rawalpindi, and Pakpattan whereas nine clinics were sealed in some other cities.
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According to a press release issued by the PHC, they had received several complaints about quacks running clinics across the province and took action. The practice would not be tolerated anymore, the press release stated, adding that the PHC had arrested practitioners involved in malpractice and those who have yet to register themselves with the newly-formed healthcare commission.
The health department’s spokesperson Akhlaq Ali Khan told The Express Tribune that the operation was launched some time ago, but now the commission has started arresting quacks and unregistered medical practitioners. At present, 7,000 herbal medicine experts (hakeems) and 9,000 homeopaths are working in Punjab, he added.
Hakeem Salman Ahmed, who runs a chain of herbal medicine clinics in Lahore, said that herbal medicine practitioners were already registered with the federal government’s National Council for Tibb. Therefore, there was no need for them to register with the provincial healthcare commission.
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He said that the commission set up under a new constitution was not acceptable to the association of herbal practitioners. He demanded that the affairs of the provincial commission be governed under the constitution of National Council for Tibb.
Salman warned that the association would call a province-wide strike if the provincial government did not stop registration of herbal medicine practitioners with the existing commission. He added that the commission’s officials were harassing practitioners during raids.
Khan, the health department’s spokesperson, refuted the allegation, saying that the action was being taken only against quacks and those involved in malpractices.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2017.