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A ‘dentist’ with a master’s in Urdu!

Pakistan has a problem with quacks — people with fake medical degrees and/or qualifications — who practice medicine, often in smaller towns and cities.

This is clearly a problem since the ‘advice’ or ‘treatment’ dispensed by these so-called medical practitioners can lead to all kinds of complications for those seeking genuine medical treatment.

In this context, the picture put up by a Twitter user below shows the level of unqualified people involved in such key professions. In this particular case, the gentleman advertising himself calls himself a dentist and is practises his ‘craft’ in the town of Panjgur in Balochistan.

He happens to be a Master’s in Urdu and has in fact placed that qualification (if indeed he even actually is in possession of it) for all passersby as part of his ‘marketing’ campaign.

The Twitter user has quite aptly called the person who put up this ‘advert’ the “World’s most qualified dentist”

Reports and figures given by the Pakistan Medical Association suggest that there are as many ‘quacks’ in the country as there are real doctors or dentists. According to the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council, the number of qualified dentists in the country with a BDS degree, as of June 30, 2015, is 14,979. Interestingly, the table below also shows that there are 63% more female dentists than male dentists in the country. The estimate for the number of ‘quacks’ posing as dentists — given that there is no way to accurately measure their number given their manner of operation and ‘practice’ — is that it is as much as those who are qualified. dentists pakistan So, while the provincial health departments sleep and fail to exercise their responsibility in preventing unqualified people from handing out medical advice and treatment, ordinary Pakistanis have to make do with ‘dentists’ who think that having a master’s in Urdu qualifies them to be a part of this profession.

doctors Karachi

Men claiming to be doctors ‘treat’ a patient on a Karachi street

One can only hope that the government as well as the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council are able to exert their respective authority so that the general public which seeks medical treatment is not harmed by such quacks.

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