Officials Say No Institution Is Awarding A Specialized Degree In Diabetes Treatment. Increasing cases of diabetes in Hyderabad over the years has seen the mushrooming of doctors claiming to be ‘diabetologists’, which the Telangana Medical Council says is nothing short of cheating citizens.

Around 600 MBBS graduates are portraying themselves as diabetologists in the state in blatant violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations, officials said.
“Diabetes is only a disease and there is no single disease-based degree or specialty. No recognised institution is giving a diabetology degree. Whatever doctors are displaying on their clinics and prescription is wrong and they are cheating patients,” said Dr E Ravindra Rao, chairman, Telangana Medical Council.

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Only MD (general medicine) and endocrinologists are technically qualified to treat diabetics. Since there are only 60 endocrinologists in Telangana, of which 30 are practicing in Hyderabad, it is the MDs who mostly treat diabetics. However, cashing in on the demand are a considerable number of MBBS graduates who claim to have done a diploma in diabetes, which is not recognized by MCI.

“People mistake them for physicians. I had so many patients coming to me for consultation and saying they had been going to a ‘diabetologist’. I found so many fallacies in their treatment,” said Dr Aftab Ahmed, physician, Apollo Hospital, Secunderabad. He added that ‘diabetologist’ are not competent enough to understand the complications of the chronic disease that killed a staggering 10 lakh Indians last year.

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The medical council has taken cognizance of this bogus and lucrative practice and said ‘diabetologists’ would have to pay a hefty penalty if they don’t mend their ways. In fact, the AP Medical Council ordered two such doctors practicing in Nizamabad and Karimnagar to remove the boards which proclaim them as specialists in diabetes. The doctors had feigned ignorance of the regulations. “The offence is punishable and the doctors can be sued,” Ravindra Reddy said.

Dr Dayakar Reddy, founder trustee, Right to Health, NGO, said there are several such centres operational in the twin cities, including the plush areas of the city. “There is a diabetology centre in Jubilee Hills that claimsitisof internationalstandards. It is running the show with MBBS doctors. People are not aware of these kinds of illegal practices,” he said. “Patients should realize that it is important to know the doctor’s credentials,” Reddy added.

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Dr P V Rao, head, endocrinology, Nims, said that since diabetes is not a difficult disease to treat and its medicines are not as harmful or toxic as cancer drugs, MBBS doctors seem to get away without any problems most of the times. #KhabarLive