AYUSH docs root for bridge course

For recognition: Members of the All India Homoeopathy Federation protest in support of the bridge course at Azad Maidan on Wednesday.

For recognition: Members of the All India Homoeopathy Federation protest in support of the bridge course at Azad Maidan on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Stage rasta roko in support of NMC Bill that would allow them to practise allopathy

Homoeopathy, ayurveda and unani practitioners have come together to support the proposed National Medical Council (NMC) Bill, which provides for a bridge course that would allow them to legally practise modern medicine.

More than 800 doctors who practise alternate medicine staged a rasta roko from Byculla to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on Wednesday morning and gathered at Azad Maidan. Twenty-four members of the group had been on fast for the past three days. The doctors ended their protest in the evening, after a meeting with and assurance from government officials.

“We are rooting for the bridge course so that we can practise allopathy legally. There is already a pharmacology course in Maharashtra, and we want it to get its due recognition,” said Dr. Prakash Rane, convener of the All India Homoeopathy Federation.

Allopathy doctors are up in arms against the NMC Bill and its provisions of a back door entry for alternative medicine practitioners. They insist that homoeopathy, ayurveda and unani practitioners should stick to their own field and practise it purely.

‘Don’t want to compete’

Dr. Rane said they are not looking to compete with MBBS doctors in any way. “We want to be at the general physician level, where we could offer treatment for basic diseases and seasonal epidemics. We have told the government that they can even give us a mandate on the level of drugs that we can prescribe,” he said.

There is a huge vacuum at the general physician level, he said. “If you look at allopathy practitioners, there is a huge shift towards super speciality. General practice is on the verge on disappearing,” Dr. Rane said.

He said that as a homoeopath, he has completed the four-and-half-year-long Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) course, followed by a one-year internship.

“If you compare the MBBS and BHMS syllabi, the only thing missing in BHMS is the subject of pharmacology. If we can study this subject through a bridge course, what is wrong in it?” Dr. Rane asked.

The State already has a bridge course on pharmacology, and the first batch of over 600 students passed out two months ago. But an association of allopathy practitioners has approached the court against the course. Students admitted to the course had to give an undertaking that they were aware the course was being contested.

Service in rural areas

Ayurveda practitioner Dr. K.R. Yadav, who is also the vice-president of All AYUSH RMO Association, said there is a shortage of doctors in rural areas.

“The MBBS doctors don’t want to practise in rural areas. Their basic charges for consultation are very high. If we want to provide services at a general physician level in the rural areas, it will only help the government,” Dr. Yadav said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 5:53:26 AM |

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