Quack Nurses Are A Public Health Hazard And The Authorities Must Act

Quack Nurses Are A Public Health Hazard And The Authorities Must Act
Abdus Sattar from Aga Khan University Hospital highlights the issue of quack nurses in the hospitals and medical centres of the country. He argues that authorities must adopt stricter monitoring measures as the lives of citizens are at stake. 

Quackery is the promotion of the medical practice which is deceitful and illegal. Quack is a person who does not have any degree or license and still performs a deceitful clinical practice in a hospital or a community. Nurse is a professional who has pertinent knowledge and skill and having a nursing license issued by Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC), is authorized to do clinical practice. On the other hand, a quack nurse has no license or the requisite degree and skills but performs clinical practice illegally as a nurse. Unfortunately, this issue has been worsening over the past few years.In Pakistan, the quack nurses are very large in number, practicing in private hospitals and different medical centres, who hire them to save money and multiply profits. Therefore, many precious lives are at risk as due to the malpractice of these quacks, many lives ended and many people have been disabled.
Quackery is affecting the image and value of nursing in Pakistan.

Due to shortage of nurses in public sector hospitals, these quacks have not been effectively banned and still allowed to practice. The issue has also been highlighted in the media recently, but no one could be punished. The cases of nurses with bogus certificates have come to the limelight.

To better the health system of Pakistan and save lives of people, professionalism must be encouraged and quackery ought to be dealt with iron hand. By eradicating quack nurses, the image of nursing and the health system at large can be improved. Effective nursing care is only possible when hiring of these quack nurses is checked. The hospital authorities should also confirm whether the nurses are registered.

Moreover, there is a need to formulate and implement the rules and regulations for nursing practices. The PNC and other healthcare stakeholders must take the necessary action to overcome this issue. There is a need for strict inspection and supervision of all hospitals and medical centres by the pertinent government authorities and other healthcare management personnel.

In addition to the these so called nurses, there are millions of other quacks who are treating people in urban and rural areas of Pakistan. These quacks are playing with our health, and because of their malpractices, thousands of people are affected every year and many have died.

The Government of Pakistan should address the issue on a priority basis; put a complete ban on the organizations that are promoting quackery and take strict action against the hiring personnel. More vigilance and increased monitoring is needed to regularly check the certificates as well. Meanwhile, there should be no relaxation in punishing the culprits as the stakes are too high and Anti-Quackery cells need to be revitalized.

Further readings

Butt, M. (2006). Health care system in Pakistan. ISSN 148-419. 6 November 2005. Volume 3 Issue 5, 49.

Aborode, A. T., Babatunde, A. O., & Agboola, P. (2021). Training and practices of quack nurses in Nigeria: A public health concern. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 36(3), 986-991.

Janssen, W. F. (1954). Quackery Can Kill. Journal of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 25(3), 17-42.

Sharma, S. K., & Parihar, S. (2020). The magnitude of nurse quackery in private healthcare facilities in Punjab. Nurs J India, 10, 20-5.

Young, J. H. (2015). The medical Messiahs: A social history of health Quackery in 20th century America. Princeton University Press.