THE 41-year-old “doctor” Santosh Gulabrao Pol from Satara, who is accused of having killed six people over the last 13 years before being arrested last week, has brought to fore a serious issue of bogus practitioners surviving in the medical fraternity today.
Pol, who claims to have a certificate in Bachelor of Electropathy Medicine and Surgery, was known to treat patients with HIV. Satara’s health authorities, however, admit that not a single complaint has ever been filed against him.
Despite a government resolution issued in 2003 about the need to identify and take action against bogus doctors, the fake doctors seem to be practising without a check. In Satara itself, in the last 10 years, only 27 bogus doctors have been identified.
When contacted, Dr Dilip Mane, Satara District Health Officer told The Indian Express, that a committee has been set up to identify and take action against bogus doctors and the panel meets once in three months. Mane said that based on complaints from people or relying on their own investigation, the health authorities take action.
“We did not get a single complaint against Pol,” Mane said, while Asha Raut, chief executive officer at Wai Municipal Council, said that there are no records against him. “People generally refer to him as a doctor,” health authorities said.
A campaign undertaken from October to December last year had identified nine bogus doctors while previously a total of 18 had been identified. Some shut their clinics and ran away while we have taken legal action against others, Mane said. Ashwin Mudgal, District Collector, Satara, said that the authorities have appealed to citizens that they should come forward and lodge their grievances with the health department. Mane further added that Pol was practising electropathy, which is allowed as per the court order. Since there was no specific complaint, it was difficult to take action.