Thursday, June 13, 2024
Around 40,000 quack doctors across the country

GMOA calls for tough action

by damith
May 19, 2024 1:20 am 0 comment 2.2K views

By Tharaka Wickramasekara and S.K. Tissera, Chilaw Group Corr.

Steps have been taken to amend the National Medicines Regulatory Act and the Penal Code to curb the serious health threat posed to people’s health due to quack doctors.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) had recently said that there are nearly 40,000 quack doctors all over the country and because of them there is a great threat to the people’s health.

GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said that those who are arrested and produced in Court while posing off as a doctor are fined Rs.3,000, and that those people will pay the fine and commit the same offence again.

According to the proposals by his union on many occasions, steps have been taken to amend the National Medicines Regulatory Act and the Penal Code so that the fines can be increased significantly and severe prison sentences can be imposed, and the initial phase has now been completed, he said.

He said that in the future, a hotline number will be provided to report such frauds and the Police have also prepared a data system for this during the Yukthiya (Justice) operation. He added that his union recently held a special discussion in this connection with the Police, where they discussed how to support the health authorities regarding the measures to arrest the quack doctors and produce them in Court promptly.

Raids will be conducted in the future according to the terms and awareness of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the relevant Acts will be amended so that the quack doctors can be subject to a fine of one million rupees and imprisonment.

The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Police and all the related Government agencies will provide the relevant criteria in this regard this year, he said.It has been revealed that some people have used the registration numbers of doctors abroad, numbers of dead doctors as well as fake numbers and all these people are related to the health sector in one way or another.

Dr. Wijesinghe said, “It is absolutely imperative that the practice of medicine in Sri Lanka be strictly regulated to prevent various groups of persons masquerading as doctors from jeopardising the lives of patients and fleecing them.”

He said it is mandatory for all qualified doctors to hold a valid registration from the SLMC, Ayurvedic Medical Council or Homeopathic Medical Council if they are to operate as doctors in any capacity.

They should display the SLMC registration number in their dispensaries if they do private practice.

State Minister of Health Dr. Seetha Arambepola told Parliament recently that the number of practising doctors registered under the Sri Lanka Medical Council is 35,528 and that currently the doctor- patient ratio is 1.2 doctors per 1,000 people.

There are only 2,922 qualified male nurses whereas the number of qualified female nurses is 37,891, she said.

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