Quacks rampant in RawalpindiBy IANS
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
RAWALPINDI - Thousands of quacks are playing havoc with poor patients in remote areas of Pakistan’s Rawalpindi district as state-run medical facilities are not adequate for the growing population.
In most cases, people living in far off areas can’t access the facilities either.
About 5,000 quacks are running clinics in the different areas of Rawalpindi. Most of them operate in rural areas and a few in urban areas, Online news agency reported.
The poor have to go to these quacks because they can’t reach the state-run health
facilities - hospitals, dispensaries, rural health centres and basic health units -
located at a distance or they do not find doctors if they reach there.
Doctors and paramedics are not available at most health facilities in the evening
and at night, save in hospitals, which are few and far between in the remote areas of Rawalpindi. Quacks give people substandard medicines and charge heavily.
There are also allegations that these quacks are patronised by health officials.
The authorities say they are short of resources to take action against quacks operating at a distance from the district headquarters.
They said they have asked the health executive district officer (EDO) to take action against quacks but there had been no progress in this regard so far.
Rawalpindi district has an area of 5,286 sq km and a population of 4.41 million according to the 2008 census. A little over 50 percent of the population lives in urban areas.