Fake medicine but real money
Quackery is a menace crippling modern medicine in India, argues Vikas Dhikav
- By: Vikas Dhikav
Quack. Charlatan. Cheat. A fake. According to the Supreme Court of India, someone who has no knowledge of a particular system of medicine but goes on to practise in that very system, pretending to be skilful and knowledgeable. Quackery is a business in India; an attractive business, at that, especially for people living in poor areas.1 For people who fail to complete their formal education and have grim career prospects otherwise,2 it is a preferred “career option.”
Why is quackery such a threat to modern medicine? Apart from irrational medical practice, quacks spread misinformation, helping to make an already strained relationship between doctors and patients even worse. Worse still, their actions can injure, disable, and sometimes kill unsuspecting patients.2 This doesn't serve the medical profession any more than it serves the patients.
It is easy to see why patients sometimes fall prey to fake doctors. They seem more accessible, charge