Bengaluru: The health department, in collaboration with local authorities, conducted raids on suspected unlicenced clinics in Kalaburagi district, which led to closure of 43 fake clinics and exposure 109 fake doctors, officials said.

“For the past one month we launched raids followed by definite clues by our staff and identified 109 fake doctors and sealed 43 clinics,” Kalburgi district health officer Dr Rathikanth Swamy told HT. “We will put the records before the District Grievances Redressal Committee (DGRC) headed by the deputy commissioner. The committee would take the decision on whether to file a criminal case or impose a fine or any other action,” he added.

The health department raids, with the help of the tehsildar and police, aimed to crack down on individuals falsely posing as qualified medical professionals, jeopardising the lives of unsuspecting patients, Swamy said.

Officials said the fake doctors, colloquially known as quacks, have become a pressing issue in many parts of the state. The individuals identified in Kalaburagi were allegedly treating patients without the necessary permissions under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act. The officials executed the raids after receiving credible information about the illicit practices of these fake doctors.

“The modus operandi of these unauthorised practitioners typically involves working as assistants or compounders in established medical clinics, where they gain exposure to basic medical procedures, prescription patterns, and the administration of common medications,” a health department official said.” Subsequently, these individuals obtain fake Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) certificates through unauthorised means.”

Once these people get RMP certificates, they set up clinics and present themselves as qualified doctors, exploiting the trust of unsuspecting patients, the official said.

“The health department has issued notices to clinics found operating without KPME permission. They were warned that criminal cases will be slapped on them if they continue to operate without the required authorisation,” district health officer Awamy said.