In a major expose in Chennai, close to half a dozen medical practitioners have been found lending their name boards and prescription pads to quacks for a monthly fee of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. This was unearthed by the directorate of medical and rural health services.

In such a case, officials from the directorate lodged a complaint against a Theni-based registered medical practitioner Dr Veeranan Kannan for lending his name board and prescription to a quack named Vinodh Joy. The latter has been found to run a clinic in the name of Dr Kannan in Devaram in Theni district. 

Joint director and officer on special duty Dr Gurunathan, who was part of the Theni raid said, "We caught him red-handed prescribing medicines on Dr Kannan's prescription pad. But several people from the neighbourhood surrounded us and prevented us from arresting him and seizing drugs from him. During inquiry, Joy said he paid the doctor Rs 25,000 every month. Dr Kannan, on the other hand, told us he visits the clinic once every week."

In a similar case last week, officials found two renowned doctors prescribing allopathic medicines on prescriptions of a gynaecologist. Refusing to reveal their names, a senior official said to the Times of India, "The allopathic doctors are well known in the area. We are unable to reveal their names as the case is under investigation. We have information about at least three more doctors who have been helping quacks. We will be sending their names to the medical council for disciplinary action including suspension."

In a Supreme Court ruling in 1996, it is directed that anyone practicing modern medicine without training in the discipline, even if they are trained in alternative medicines like Ayurveda and Siddha are known as quacks. Only those practitioners registered under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and enrolled with the Medical Council of India are allowed to practice medicine in India.