An integrated Anti-Quackery Approach for SHCC with the consensus of all stakeholders & in accordance with National cum provincial needs with the ultimate goal to ban quackery and help in the provision of quality health care services to the population
Introduction to Anti-Quackery
Anti-Quackery Directorate is the frontline cohort of the Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC), established under the SHCC Act, 2013. The SHCC Directorate aims to play an active role in pursuance to U/S 2(xxix), 4(1), 4(2) (q); facilitate to perform of such functions and exercise such powers and take necessary steps for banning quackery in the province of Sindh in all its forms and manifestations and take corrective measures to enforce regulatory laws with the help of stakeholders as approved by the competent authority.
According to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, an estimated more than 600,000 quacks are operating across Pakistan and one-third of them are practicing in Sindh. More worryingly, the majority of them, estimated to be around 200,000, are practicing in the province of Sindh and around 40% of those are working in the Cosmopolitan and biggest city of the Country i.e. Karachi. It has been reported that the number of quacks is increasing in Sindh, both in urban and rural areas. Therefore, the health of the inhabitants of the province especially in the low quantile of the wealth defined as vulnerable including; the poor, critically ill, and women and children are at severe risk.
It is pertinent to discuss, there is a wide gap between demand and supply (availability of qualified practitioners against population) of healthcare services. Resultantly, patients are also visiting ‘Allied Healthcare Workers’ who are not qualified or registered as medical practitioners and are much easy to be accessed, as one such practitioner is available for 350 persons as opposed to one qualified doctor available for 1,290 persons. However, it is not evenly distributed. It is also realized that still there are pockets of the population (i.e patients) whose healthcare needs remain unmet due to access issues, i.e. unavailability of qualified professionals, transport, education, and financial support to meet the required expenses for the treatment.