About a million doctors in the country went on a one-day strike on Friday against the Union Interior Ministry’s decision to allow Ayurveda graduate doctors to perform surgical procedures. However, the protest did not have much impact on the functioning of the hospitals as emergency services were exempted.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), an organization that brings together all conventional doctors and surgeons, criticizing the legislation said it is a “myxopathy” and said it “trivializes the medical profession” as it called for a national strike.
“The government’s decision to introduce a rule that allows practitioners of specific streams of Ayurveda to be trained to perform surgical procedures trivializes the medical profession,” said Rajan Sharma, director of IMA, according to Reuters.
Last month, the Center introduced a rule that allowed postgraduate practitioners of Ayurveda, an ancient science of medicine in India, to perform certain surgeries. According to the notification, Ayurveda postgraduates can perform 39 general surgery procedures and about 19 procedures involving the eye, ear, nose, and throat.
What is notification?
In November this year, the Central Council of Medicine of India, the regulatory body for the study and practice of Ayurveda in India, amended the Central Council of Medicine of India (Postgraduate Education in Ayurveda) Regulations 2016 as it allowed Ayurvedic physicians to legally train and perform minor surgical procedures, including ENT, ophthalmology, orthopedic and dental procedures.
What does IMA say?
Modern medical practitioners have criticized the government notification because they see it as “another step to advance and legitimize myxopathy.” In demanding the withdrawal of the CCIM order, IMA says it does not allow its own members to teach disciplines of modern medicine to students from other systems. “Let each system grow in its own strength and purity,” the medical corps said in an earlier statement.
In a statement last month, IMA said: “The purity and identity of Ayurveda are equally challenged. That the council prescribed textbooks of modern medicine and that Ayurveda institutions practiced surgery with the help of modern physicians cannot be reason enough to legitimize the intrusion into the jurisdiction and powers of modern medicine. “
What do Ayurveda practitioners say?
Traditional medicine practitioners have described the criticism as a “misconception” and say there is no risk of “crosspathy”. “It is a mistake to think that Ayurvedic doctors cannot perform surgery. In addition to performing caesarean sections and hernia surgeries, Ayurveda surgeons have pioneered certain procedures for hemorrhoids and fissures where modern medicine is not of much help, ”said Dr. VN Mishra, medical superintendent at BHU’s Sir Sunderlal Hospital.