The Menace Of Quackery In Pakistan And Its Causes

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What is Quackery?

Regarding its meaning, connotations, and legal ramifications, the term “quackery” is fundamentally distinct from “malpractice.” Quackery is characterized as “the promotion of false or sloppy medical procedures. A quack ” is somebody who engages in bogus medicine.

In other words, a quack is a person who engages in medical malpractice without having the necessary  credentials, professional status, and legal  right to engage in such activities

Quacks typically receive informal training as a phlebotomist substitute while honing their skills in the fundamentals of clinical medicine under the supervision of qualified doctors, including compounding and dispensing pharmacy procedures. 

The situation of quackery in Pakistan

In Pakistan, quacks cause hundreds of people to lose their lives or sustain serious injuries every year. Sadly, there are no trustworthy data sources or government estimates of the annual number of impacted individuals. However, there are numerous such items in the national newspapers and other media outlets virtually every day. Despite increasing reports, the truth is that they just represent the tip of the iceberg and that the actual situation is considerably more severe than what is highlighted.

In addition to causing preventable deaths, quack medicine is one of the main factors contributing to Pakistan’s rising morbidity rate. Patients and their families ultimately bear the burden of other people’s mistakes, whether it be a patient’s delayed presentation to a professionally educated doctor, the advancement of an existing ailment, or complications of the treatment given by a quack.

Reasons for the rise in quackery

This problem has multiple facets. Following a thorough examination and critical study of quackery, one gets to the conclusion that the following reasons are significantly contributing to the problem’s ongoing growth.

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Quack’s ignorance 

To do a task that is outside the scope of one’s professional expertise is wrong on moral, ethical, and social grounds. The quacks lose empathy and honesty by losing this awareness and the idea that “patient care is provided by a trained expert.” If it is not corrected in the beginning, the individual keeps engaging in quackery to such an extent that even the fatalities and complications that result do not deter him from doing so.

Flaws in law encourage quackery

Quack medicine is prohibited by state law, yet there is no conclusive proof that this prohibition is being followed. The systems used by Pakistan’s law enforcement organizations have issues. The fact that quacks continue to practice in Pakistan so openly and to such an extent that it has practically become the norm indicates that quackery has spread to other countries due to a weak legal system and insufficient judicial deterrent.

Health system and medical professional issues

Due to the unorganized nature of the health system and the subpar care provided by state-run institutions, the private health care industry has flourished. Since a large portion of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty, not everyone can afford private medical treatment. This enables quacks to take advantage of the circumstance by providing low-cost and “affordable” healthcare. Additionally, there hasn’t been much motivation among medical professionals to actively address this issue by coming up with workable solutions.

Inadequate education advance quackery

The growth of this issue has also been aided by a lack of knowledge of the distinctions between “qualified doctors” and “quacks.” Patients and others who care for them frequently don’t question the credentials and skills of the individual providing the treatment. This general public mentality supports quackery and misconduct.

Exaggerated claims of a quack to cure any disease

People with less education or ordinary education are typically more susceptible to quacks since quacks deceitfully advertise their miraculous healing within the community.

The most common argument used by charlatans to get you to buy their nostrums as hair tonics to treat baldness is a “money-back guarantee.”

People typically take advantage of this opportunity to see whether they can be helped without spending a lot of money on hair transplantation or other procedures to encourage hair growth.

Quacks use sensational statements to surprise their clientele

Quacks often surprise their clients with their fabricated inspirational success stories to keep their trust. Frequently, they are claimed to be able to diagnose a variety of illnesses simply by checking their pulse. For this to happen, they momentarily grip the patient’s wrist before ending their determinations. Typically, they are conscious of the current medical advice on a few disorders and offer false hope to their customers for a premium cost. They formerly used to inform their clients that thousands of people had received treatment from their ancestors and they also possess some hereditary magical treatments. discoveries and some recently revealed secrets,  unfamiliar to others.

Building strong relationships with patients who aren’t wealthy

The quacks’ business thinking and actions play a big part in developing a quack-patient relationship. The rural areas of Pakistan have seen a significant encroachment of feudalism, and they are the most powerful in their particular regions. Quacks therefore frequently provide their families with free healthcare, which makes the locals compelled to visit quacks. Quacks frequently engage in social events and are familiar with nearly every home in many villages. In their poor neighborhood, they occasionally treat patients without payment or on account, possibly to keep their customers from switching to a rival.


Symptomatic treatment

The general mentality of the inhabitants of rural areas and slums has been that they only believe in short fixes or instant effects of the treatment. This has been a symptomatic treatment to rapidly relieve the patients. They are not at all satisfied with the doctor if they are not given injections and/or intravenous fluids. On the other side, quacks frequently inject their patients with intravenous fluids and offer injections for headaches or fever without understanding the true reason for the illness. The majority of Quack’s palliative treatments/measures use a combination of drugs, such as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, injections, and an anti-inflammatory, to treat all common ailments prevalent in the local population.

How to diminish quackery?

Following suggestions are important in diminishing quackery in Pakistan

Moral education and moral obligations

It is imperative to integrate medical ethics instruction into multiple curricula so that students can gain a better understanding of their professional obligations.  This holds for allopathic, homeopathic, and herbal patient care providers such as physicians, nurses, technicians, paramedics, and pharmacists.  There is mounting evidence that there are many quacks in the medical profession mostly non-physician health professionals who begin practicing medicine as a result of their training and credentials. Some of these quacks do this after leaving their government jobs, while others combine their quackery practice with their normal government employment.

In addition to receiving moral instruction, other healthcare workers have a moral obligation to recognize quackery and put a stop to it.

The supervisor, medical superintendent, district health officer, registration authorities, and other responsible officials and governing bodies should be informed whenever a health professional determines that another person is incompetent or unqualified to treat patients.

Regulatory bodies and Licensing authorities

It is legally required for the relevant regulatory organizations and licensing agencies to establish precise criteria for professional competencies concerning qualifications.

What is required of a licensed professional and what is regarded as unethical and unprofessional should be made extremely apparent so that, in the event of malpractice or quackery, the proper legal steps may be pursued following the established standards.

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Law and legal system

It is acknowledged that any rules and regulations will take effect if they are followed by the letter of the law. The severity of quackery and its effects on people’s lives in Pakistan must be understood by the legal and judicial systems.

Quackery ought to be considered a felony. It is important to bring the offenders to justice and hold them accountable for paying back the losses caused by quackery. It is legally required for the relevant regulatory organizations and licensing agencies to establish precise criteria for professional competencies concerning qualifications.

What is required of a certified professional and what is deemed unprofessional and unethical should be made very apparent so that in the event of malpractice and quackery, appropriate legal actions may be taken in line with the set standards.


One of the main reasons for rising mortality and morbidity in Pakistan is quackery. The majority of victims are underprivileged and lack access to top-notch medical care. Due to quack medicine, many innocent lives are lost and many more are negatively impacted. The precise number of deaths attributable to quackery is unknown because there is no trustworthy database, but there is no doubt that quackery is a growing health issue. Health experts, medical institutions, governing authorities, law enforcement, and the judicial system must all work together to halt this crime against humanity by taking immediate, decisive action.

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