CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research

: 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 315--316

Commentary on Syllabic medicine (Cinquain)

Juhi Kalra 
 Department of Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, SRHU, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Juhi Kalra
Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, SRHU, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

How to cite this article:
Kalra J. Commentary on Syllabic medicine (Cinquain).CHRISMED J Health Res 2018;5:315-316

How to cite this URL:
Kalra J. Commentary on Syllabic medicine (Cinquain). CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Jun 18 ];5:315-316
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Full Text

The cinquain aptly talks about the unkempt boat named “medicine and its practice” that is navigating a stream of sloth. The shores named “patient” and the “doctor” are seething under the devastating influence of rough waters of neglected priorities. Unqualified medical practitioners, referred to as the quacks, have encroached on the practice of a qualified medical practitioner in India.[1] This transit has been under the safe cover of political will. The Supreme Court ruling, 1996, declares quackery a punishable offense (Poonam Verma vs. Ashwin Patel) and the Delhi Medical Council Act 1997, imposes fine and imprisonment and yet quackery has proliferated indiscriminately over the years across various states in India.[2],[3] The Medical Council of state of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Telangana have blamed the Government for inaction and attributed it partly to its impulsiveness and inability to meet the W H O criteria of doctor:patient ratio of 1:1000.[4]

To make it worse, the charlatans of medical practice are now being trained in several states by mushrooming institutions. These so-called short training courses are claiming that they will enable their trainees to treat minor ailments and refer, not realizing that one needs to diagnose, discriminate, and use higher domains of learning before referring. All this is not possible without appropriate knowledge, skill, and ethics. The competing interest of such institutions needs a closer look. This abbreviated attempt threatens the quality of healthcare putting quality as its last priority. Investing in cheap medication and poor healthcare services by employing and giving a free hand to the untrained, self-proclaimed health professionals or those enrolled at mushrooming parallel industry of short courses is not the way forward. It is rather a retrograde strategy that promotes illegal, unethical practice of medicine by an unregistered, unqualified medical practitioner, often referred to as rural medical practitioner (RMP), and shakes the very foundation of the carefully planned program for the Indian medical graduate.[4],[5]

Another grave concern is, why should uncomplaining rural India be subjected to discrimination of poor services? Is the patient of rural India inferior to the patient of Urban India or is his ailment any different? Can we risk their health? Surely no! However, the healthcare policies prove it so by ignoring quackery in the name of healthcare in rural India. It goes a step further by turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the experimentation with human lives by the RMPs.[5] Quackery is thus attracting the touts, unqualified and the unemployed for mere financial gains. The misuse of medication, overuse of intravenous drugs, and increasing incidence of parenterally transmitted infections such as hepatitis C, unskilled diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures are hurling pain to patients.[6] The RMPs are being projected as providing cost-effective treatment even when the denominator seems to be clearly missing its target in practice of allopathy.[1]

Quackery is a cover up for years of neglect, filler for shameful statistical gaps, and a fake show of improved and improving health services in India. The parthenium of the RMP is growing uninhibited, unchallenged and unscrutanized in every nook and corner of Urban India.[3] As a result, more than 70% such practitioners in rural India are challenging the qualified native practitioner.[7],[8]

Today an honest healer seems to be gasping for lack of concern from healthcare administrators and educators alike. On one hand, the native practitioner is treated like a businessman rather than a healer, weighed down with regulations, pollution control boards, and NABH accreditations and the like. On the contrary, the unethical quack happily snatches all that he is not entitled to without bothering about quality. Sadly, the psychological abandonment of young aspiring doctor has throttled his aspirations and deepened the worry lines. The young doctor that was ordained in this profession with Hippocratic Oath is caught in the storm and deathly stills and sees no sign boards of hope. He is worried when he sees the poorly accomplished RMP gaining immense power in absence of skills and qualifications and wonders if the phrases of ethics, professionalism, competencies are only decorative columns in books or need unbiased, complete application in all sectors of health care.


1Supreme Court of India. Poonam Verma vs. Ashin Patel and Ors; 10 May, 1996. Available from:
2The Delhi Medical Council Act; 1997. Available from:
3Das TK. Quack: Their Role in Heath Sector. Available from:
4Pulla P. Are India's quacks the answer to its shortage of doctors? BMJ 2016;352:i291.
5Rao UP, Rao NS. The rural medical practitioner of India. J. Evol Med Dent Sci 2017;6.
6Sood A, Sarin SK, Midha V, Hissar S, Sood N, Bansal P, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in a selected geographical area of Northern India: A population based survey. Indian J Gastroenterol 2012;31:232-6.
7Centre for Policy Research. Mapping Medical Providers in Rural India: Four Key Trends; February, 2011. Available from:
8Banerjee A, Deaton A, Duflo E. Wealth, Health, and Health Services in Rural Rajasthan; December, 2003. Available from: