Charlatan arrested in Pernambut

A 40-year-old charlatan has been arrested but two charlatans, who ran illegal clinics in Pernambut, escaped on Saturday.

Health officials said S. Nagaraj, a local resident, had been running the health center without a sign or description at his house on Ambur Road in Salarpet in the town of Pernambut, near Gudiyatham, for a few years. He claimed to have received training at a private medical institute in Chennai, where all his professional certificates were kept.

During the investigation, the health team and the police found that he could not explain medical terms and practices. “We caught him at his home while he was waiting for patients in the neighborhood. We were told he had been in the locality for two years,” Mr Kannagi, co-director of health services (Vellore), told The Hindu.

Based on an alert, together with local police, a team of senior health officials including Mr. Thirugnanam, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Government Taluk Hospital (Pernambut), caught him at Salarpet in the city . The initial investigation revealed that the accused treated 15 to 20 patients each day, with the number of visitors doubling over the weekend. The health center was sealed off; he was arrested and imprisoned in prison. A case was filed by Pernambut police.

Earlier in the day, the team led by Ms. Kannagi traveled to the city in search of a charlatan, B. Sivakumar, claiming to be a physiotherapist. Earlier, the accused had operated on the injured shoulder of a resident S. Ravi, who succumbed to his injuries at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai a few days ago. The victim’s condition worsened after the operation.

However, the charlatan went into hiding before the health team and local police could catch him. Another charlatan, who was distributing medicine on a two-wheeler, could not be found by the health team. A surveillance team has been posted in the city to alert health officials to quacks in the city, police said.

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