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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



primitive methods of medical treatment, well-known among all peoples from antiquity and usually accompanied by various rituals.

In the early stages of the development of mankind, quackery was not differentiated from folk medicine and was practiced by sorcerers (healers and veduny}. However, sorcery was under the influence of theurgic (religious) medicine, in which the belief prevailed that illnesses came from evil spirits. In the class society, people came to use sorcerers in the interests of the religious cult. Gradually, sorcery changed into a profession, a means of enrichment for the sorcerers themselves. With the development of community life, sorcery’s content, form, and views changed considerably. Present-day manifestations of sorcery differ according to such factors as territorial and national peculiarities, the character of traditions, the level of general culture, and the extent of the diffusion of religious prejudices.

Ignorantly borrowing the methods of scientific medicine, the sorcerer reduced treatment to crude, sometimes criminal quackery and frequently resorted to primitive instruments and operations (pathological childbirth and abortions). In capitalist countries, the pharmaceutical market is flooded with patent preparations. Proper control for the issuing of such preparations is not exercised by government agencies. These preparations are promoted by shameless advertising created by private owners of companies, Who become both “healers” and salesmen of their own drugs.

In bourgeois states, particularly in colonial countries and those with weakly developed economies, the inaccessibility of medical help for the vast majority of the workers also furthers the development of quackery. Quackery was wide-spread in prerevolutionary Russia, especially in the villages; the inadequacy of medical aid, superstition, and ignorance were conducive to sorcery. In the outlying national regions of imperial Russia, sorcerers—khakims, tabibs, and khetims — abused the confidence of the working people.

In the USSR, thanks to the growth of the culture and material welfare of the people, the broad availability of free qualified medical help, and the development of hygiene education, quackery has no soil on which to grow. The measures of the Soviet state directed at the development of public health care are important in the struggle against quackery, which is most effective when combined with atheistic propaganda. By Soviet law, criminal accountability has been established for the illegal practice of medicine.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


inferior doctor; formerly a barber performing dentistry and surgery. [Medicine: Misc.]
Dulcamara, Dr.
offered bad burgundy as panacea for lovelessness. [Ital. Opera: Donizetti, Elixir of Love; EB, 5: 953–954]
Rezio, Dr. Baratarian
court physician; practically starves Sancho Panza in the interest of diet. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote]
Rock, Dr. Richard
fat, 18th-century quack; professed to cure every imaginable disease. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Handbook, 888]
Sangrado, Dr.
ignorant physician; believed blood not necessary for life. [Fr. Lit.: Gil Blas]
Walker, Dr.
great 18th-century quack, forever advising against disreputable doctors. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Handbook, 888]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Health fraud is more pervasive today, says Coody, because "The Internet has opened up the world market to people from their personal computers." If you're tempted to purchase any unproven or little known treatment, especially if it's sold on the Internet, check with your doctor or healthcare professional first, he advises.
These were the Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud, Inc.
Phillipou concluded, stating that currently the best form of action to take is to keep the public well informed on the realities and dangers of health fraud.
A well-written introduction to the issues of health fraud and misconceptions, this book is part of Wiley's excellent Bad Science series.
He spoke on the issues in "Protecting the Public from Health Fraud: "Dietary Supplements" as a Public Health Problem".
Several free, consumer-level publications such as Miracle Health Claims: Add a Dose of Skepticism and Health Claims on the Internet: Buyer Beware, are available to help consumers recognize and avoid health fraud (FTC, n.d.).
Its promise to make insurance more portable was oversold, but it set a dangerous precedent for federal regulation of health insurance, expanded government access to medical records, and overshot the mark in cracking down on health fraud. Armey finds that the policy lessons to be learned from the mistakes of HIPAA include making MSAs permanent, workable, and universal; reforming the tax treatment of health care; and giving workers more choice and control through defined contribution health plan options.
"Miracle" Health Claims: Add a Dose of Skepticism This FDA/FTC joint agency information piece focuses on how to assess claims and seek advice, and avoid becoming a victim of health fraud. The information discusses how to minimize being cheated out of money, time, and health.
To avoid becoming victims of health fraud, it's important for consumers to learn how to assess health claims and seek the advice of a health professional.
"The FTC will step up its efforts to combat internet health fraud," said Timothy Muris, chairman of the commission.
The Feds are winning billions from hospitals and doctors for health fraud. I hope they collect it.
For example, because you will have to develop new policies and train your employees, this is a good time to develop compliance plans (or to review those already in place) covering topics such as health fraud, billing practices and physician self-referral laws.

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