DMC should have more presence on ground to deal with quacks: High Court

- December 8, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The matter would be heard next on January 24

Photo: Getty

The Delhi High Court on Friday emphasised the need for increased effectiveness and physical presence of the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) to combat the issue of quacks and requested its response regarding the verification of doctors.

A bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan issued notices to the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the DMC following a PIL addressing the prevalence of fake and unqualified doctors, instructing them to submit their replies.

The court remarked, “The inadequacy of DMC’s impact is a concern affecting society at large. DMC must enhance its effectiveness. There seems to be a lack of ground-level control and presence. You need to significantly bolster your on-ground presence.”

In addition to summoning the Delhi government and the Centre on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by five individuals, including a minor who suffered birth-related brain injury due to “unqualified” doctors, the bench suggested that the council should oversee all doctors. It proposed the publication of doctors’ names in the public domain for verification of their credentials.

“We might consider directing a verification process through a committee. Please provide instructions,” the court stated.

Highlighting the necessity for internal reform within the authorities, the court emphasized, “The change must emanate from within; it cannot be imposed. Ensuring the alignment of a doctor’s practice with their qualifications is crucial. Possessing an MBBS degree while engaging in a different practice cannot be permitted.”

The court urged the DMC to take measures to enhance its ground-level presence and eliminate corrupt practices. Lawyers representing the DMC and NMC mentioned ongoing litigation between the authorities and some petitioners, while the petitioners argued that unqualified doctors posed a threat and verification processes must be enforced.

The petitioners, including the minor, his mother, an NDMC employee, and two lawyers, sought directions for a time-bound verification of medical qualifications of practitioners across Delhi.

Alleging collusion between the DMC and fake doctors, the petition stated, “Several victims have lost their lives due to this fake doctor scam before it was uncovered. The regulatory body’s failure to prevent unqualified persons from practicing modern scientific medicine endangers public health and violates the fundamental Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

The court scheduled the next hearing for January 24. (With inputs from PTI)