SRINAGAR: Putting thousands of lives at risk, government school teachers, employees and quacks have been caught treating patients in health clinics in strife-torn Kashmir and operating unauthorised pharmacies.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Pattan, Dr Masrat Iqbal Wani told TNIE that they have sealed at least 44 clinics and pharmacies in north Kashmir in the last 10 days and caught nine teachers, one Public Health Engineering (PHE) employee and another government employee treating patients and running pharmacies.
Six to seven people caught running the health clinics and pharmacies had not even passed high school, Wani said.
Illegal health clinics and pharmacies have mushroomed across the Valley in the last two decades as there are no checks and balances to weed out quacks from genuine doctors in the state.
On August 2, police had arrested a quack from Pattan, Tariq Ahmad Teli who was running an orthopaedic practice and three health clinics where hundreds of patients were treated daily.
After his arrest, it was found that he had a fake doctor’s degree and was a quack.
Wani said after Teli's arrest, the health authorities have launched a drive across the Valley to check the credentials of doctors running private clinics and ensure that illegal and unauthorised pharmacies are closed down.
Wani said they have been informed by Chief Education Officer that all the nine teachers caught treating patients and running pharmacies were serving government teachers. He said a PHE employee has been suspended and government is also going to take action against the teachers for posing as doctors putting people’s lives at risk.
Wani said the drive against quacks would continue till they are all identified and punished.
The government will ensure that only doctors are allowed to treat patients at the private clinics.
During the raids three pharmacy shops, where animal husbandry drugs were sold, were also shut down.
During investigations it was found that the quacks used to prescribe steroids to patients without knowing the ill-effects. Continuous use of steroids leads to kidney failures.