Mithilesh Yadav/Republica Signboard of Shivam Medicine Center in Lahan Municipality-3 in this recent picture.
LAHAN, June 18: Saturday 1 pm at the Shivam Medicene Center that claims to be part of Indian clinic 'Nageshwori Chandasi Dawakhana' at Lahan main market area. Shrawan Yadav, 55 and his 'doctor' from Calcutta of India, Bidhut Roy are talking about Yadav's health complications.
Yadav - I have been coming here for the last one month, the pain is as it is.
Roy - I have taken guarantee of your treatment. I will do it. Or else, I will give back your money.
Yadav - No, but in one month, I should have felt some difference. I am just saying that I could not feel any change.
Roy - Do not worry. Can't you see the board outside? 'Guaranteed treatment' it reads. Don't worry.
In lack of proper monitoring or regulation by the authorities concerned, the trend of opening unauthorized medical shops, especially by Indian nationals is on the rise.
This scribe, who was standing behind posing a patient in a queue, asked Roy how long will it take the patients to recover from their illness if they come to him. Roy, without any hesitation, stated that it depends on patients' case. "However, you come here means, you are going to be cured," he claimed.
Roy is a good orator. But ask about his identity in detail, he doesn't like to talk much. The local of Gulla Gram of Nadiya Thana (as he claims) does not have any medical certificate to show. "The board outside speaks everything about what I can do", he boasts.
A board outside the center guarantees cure of several diseases. It claims of curing piles, chronic sinus and hydrocele, among others without surgery. Not just the board, the center is advertised massively on local radio stations and TV channels.
"Not just in TV or radio, I even received their pamphlets at home. Someone left it at my doorstep," Yadav later said. "Everyone said they have heard very much of the center," he added. No wonder, pamphlets of the medical center are found easily around Lahan. This pulls patients to the center.
After listening to Yadav's health complications the first time he visited, Roy told him to keep Rs 63,000 ready. "I asked him several times whether I would be okay. He assured me of that," Yadav shared his first experience his to-be-doctor.
After coming in Roy's influence Yadav started managing money. He has already paid over Rs 40,000 to Roy. But his wound in anus, which is due to piles, has not improved a bit.
"He applied some kind of ointment in that part. He had told that it will cure my wound. He had given me some tablets as well. So, the tablets and the tube were supposed to make me well without going for operation. But nothing like that happened," Yadav lamented.
In Yadav's bag, there are huge packs of medicines. But 'they are not working.' "As I have already spent over Rs 40.000, I can't quit the treatment. In every consultation, I have been spending more money. Whether it is that the treatment will give results only after I complete the full treatment," he wondered.
Yadav does not have any receipt of the transactions. Roy told him, he won't need that. According to Roy, his nationality bars him from working here as a doctor. Or else, he would do the work openly.
"Due to my nationality, I cannot register my shop here. So I do not give receipt, just take fees of my work," he said.
According to him, the shop is registered in name of someone called Rajaram Mahato. He took out old set of prescription pads to show it. In the pad, Rajaram Mahato is mentioned as the proprietor of the medical shop.
Yadav's case is just the tip of the iceberg. In lack of proper monitoring or regulation by the authorities concerned, the trend of opening unauthorized medical shops, especially by Indian nationals is on the rise. Such shops are seen around in Lahan and in border areas such as Bariyarpatti and Nawarajpur.
Police does not deny the sorry scenario. However, it defends its inaction claiming that it is not responsible for regulating such clinics. Moreover, they are also becoming victim of such fake doctors, police says.
"I had once visited a dentist. They took hefty fees from me, but didn't treat the ailment. There are many fake shops like that around here. However, we cannot do anything," said DSP Ganesh Chand. "The regulatory body should take measures to control such fake clinics by working together with other government agencies," he added.
Meanwhile, Chief of District Health Office, Dr Nageswor Yadav stated that Indians or any other nationals cannot provide health services to people without getting required permission. There is a process. They have to go through that. Only after permission, they are allowed to practice in the medical field," he said. "It is very shocking to know that they are guarantying to cure disease. It's a huge scam," he said. However, he did not outline his office's plan to take actions against such fake clinics.