Quacks and frauds are damaging Bihar’s healthcare system

Poverty, illiteracy and indifferent attitude of concerned departments lead quacks and frauds to make fool of common man at the cost of their health. Read on ...

Doctors are often viewed as the god’s gift to mankind because they save lives. However, in modern context we have come to a point where we have to rethink about this. The number of quacks and fraud doctors are increasing, and they are constantly harming the common people.

Several such cases have come to the fore, and they are mostly seen in places where there is a lack of access to even basic medical facilities. Scarcity of financial resources of person does not mean that they do not deserve proper healthcare facilities. The growing cases of medical malpractice and quackery exposes a lot of drawbacks in the healthcare sector in various parts of our country.  

Took out kidneys to treat stomach pain!

In a horrific incident in Baji Raut village under Bariyarpur in Sakra Block of Bihar’s Mujaffarpur district, a quack doctor extracted both the kidneys of a woman after she complained of abdomen pain. Sunita Devi, 30, started complaining of serious pain. Her family then took her to Shubhakant private clinic, where two individuals – Pawan Kumar and Narayan Yadav – asked them to deposit an amount of Rs 30,000. They said that Sunita will need surgery. However, during surgery, they allegedly took out both the kidneys of the patient and her condition turned worse.

Ever since the surgery, Sunita has been on dialysis. Due to this, her condition further worsened. Seeing this, her family took her to another clinic, where they got to know that both her kidneys were missing. The family members also tried to contact Shubhakant clinic, but they stonewalled them. The case has now snowballed, and Sunita’s family has admitted her in Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) where she is undergoing treatment. 

Sunita’s husband Aklu Ram said he had borrowed money for his wife’s treatment since the expenses were only growing. Till date, the man, who works as a daily wage-earner in agricultural fields, has borrowed nearly Rs 50,000 and is struggling to return it. 

Is there an end to this horror?

Sunita’s case is not the only one. Surendra, a 30-year-old rickshaw-puller, has the responsibility of running a family of five. One day, he felt pain in the abdomen and went to a private clinic in Mahnar in Vaishali district of the state. There, he was told that it was a problem related to the appendix and he would have to undergo a surgery.  

After the surgery, Surendra found difficulty in urinating and his situation turned worse. He went to PMCH where he came to know that both his kidneys are missing. An investigation started but the question remains: How can a human being’s kidneys be taken out like that? This incident happened in 2005. And regular occurance of such cases shows that no steps have been taken against these quacks who are causing harm to people who come to seek medical help.

There are more than four lakh quack doctors in Bihar who have been treating people in the rural areas for a long time. According to the National Health Profile, the state has the least number of doctors when it comes to catering to the population. In terms of figures, there is only one doctor for every 28,391 people. This is also the reason why more than 530 primary health centres in Bihar have remained shut for a while. 

Are cases like those of Sunita Devi and Surendra happening more because of the growing number of quack doctors and people’s financial helplessness?

It is true that people who live in the villages are not well-off to afford treatment in big hospitals. Besides, those who live in the rural areas do not want to stay away from their home and work for too long as that affects their livelihoods. For people who depend on daily wages to run their households, staying away from work for even half a day can be troublesome.  

In such situation, it becomes the responsibility of the administration to crack down on quack and fake doctors, hospitals, and clinics and ensure that the common man gets proper health facilities.

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