In a move to weed out quacks, the Karnataka Ayurvedic and Unani Practitioners Board has asked registered medical practitioners under Ayurveda, naturopathy and yoga, Sidda, Unani and integrated medical systems to refresh their registration by December 31. Along with fresh registration certificate, the board will issue smart cards to the practitioners.

Shortage of doctors is the reason for the rise in the number of quacks. Over 50 per cent of the medical graduates coming out of over 50 colleges in the State are migrating to other States or abroad. Majority of doctors prefer to practice in cities rather than rural areas. It had been found that registration certificates were being misused by some unqualified persons. The fresh registration certificates would prevent such misuse.

The task force set up by the board was effectively tracing quacks and added that 15 quacks were caught during raids conducted across the State on November 22, 2013. Under the Karnataka Medical Registration Act, the fine imposed on quacks was meager. The government had been urged to hike the fine and increase the quantum of punishment.

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