LIFE

Traditional systems should not be ignored

Tap their potential

Health tourism is a prospective growth area and Kerala can leverage the advantage of its expertise in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems to be a market leader in this segment.

In this regard, the present initiative to enforce compulsory registration of practitioners of the Indian systems of medicines is certainly a welcome step as it would go a long way in ensuring quality of these services.

In the long run, compulsory registration of these services would aid the Government in integrating modern technology with the traditional systems of medicines and to encourage research.

It would be easier for the authorities and banks to provide financial assistance to these practitioners so that successful entrepreneurial ventures could be undertaken in this sector. To ensure transparency in this registration drive, a structured evaluation scheme needs to be developed which would test the competence of the particular practitioner in various aspects of the concerned medicinal system. Recognition should be granted only upon successful performance in these evaluation tests.

This would ensure that even those unfortunate practitioners who do not have any valid certifications are also provided an opportunity to acquire recognition. As traditional medicinal systems are not popular among the general public because it lacks scientific validity, maintaining a directory of recognised practitioners would only spur domestic demand.

Contrary to popular belief, the present step may not affect the rural healthcare system because these centres thrive by way of word-of-mouth publicity where the recognition of the practitioner would not be given prominence.

On the other hand, the envious reach of traditional systems of medicines in the rural health landscape can be tapped by making licensed practitioners a part of the rural healthcare programmes for promoting vaccination and personal hygiene.

P.H. Karthik

Thiruvananthapuram

Safeguard vaidyars

In Kerala where the Ayurveda and Siddha systems have equal importance as to that of allopathy, the new licence programme would create many problems for people working in this field.

There are a large number of traditional vaidyars who do not possess medical certificates, but have a long history of service. Many of them will lose their means of livelihood due to this new policy.

For issuing licence, the authorities should also consider their treatment skills and their credibility with the people.

The new licence programme will only help some of the multinational companies working in this field.

The Government should promote Ayurveda and Siddha as tourism programmes. It should also start rehabilitation and pension programmes for people in this field.

V. Arun Dev

Thiruvananthapuram

Exempt the genuine

Compulsory and mandatory registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine is necessary.

It augurs well for the general public who are often cheated by quacks. Though it creates problems to many who practise Ayurveda or Siddha or other varied forms of indigenous medicines, it will certainly help curb the mushrooming of such practitioners in every nook and corner.

The Act will help the authorities to check the growth of fake practitioners.

At the same time, they should see that genuine practitioners who are not duly qualified should be allowed to render their invaluable service to the needy who are unable to get the services of practitioners of modern medicine.

Incurable diseases are being treated and cured by unauthorised self-styled doctors who have learned from their ancestors. Such people should be given exemption under the Act.

V.C.Zachariah

Ranni

Double-edged

The new step is actually a curtailment of the application of indigenous knowledge.

Many of the practitioners have an abundance of accrued knowledge which is inherited.

In some severe cases of diseases like cancers, tumours and respiratory disorders where modern medicine is helpless, traditional vaidyars sometimes offer a cure

Registration may help stop a very small percentage of malpractices in field.

But it will definitely affect a larger number people solely dependent on indigenous systems of medicine.

Yasmin L. Rasheed

Chirayinkeezhu

Welcome move

By denying the license to unworthy practitioners of traditional systems of medicine, the authorities can weed out fakes. Traditional systems will never lose popularity due to this.

R. Vignesh Devraj Iyer

Thiruvananthapuram

Do not neglect them

The success of traditional systems lies in its treasure of knowledge acquired and transferred through generations.

Though they may not have qualifications required by the Medical Council, vaidyars have gained the confidence of the multitudes with their service and knowledge.

But on the other hand, some bogus doctors create problems.

Registration with the Council would be useful to some extent.

But the Medical Council should also consider the vaidyars who have sufficient knowledge in the their field and have been treating patients for a long period. Their knowledge has nothing to do with the conventional educational system but we can't neglect their contribution.

S. Sreejesh

Thiruvananthapuram

Leave it to public

The recent restrictions imposed will have a negative impact on Ayurveda, Siddha and other branches of indigenous and conventional medicines.

Though they may seem unscientific, they have scientific basis.

They are based on ancient texts and time has proved that these medicines are good.

Like any other field, the problem is the existence of miscreants. It is not possible for the Government to conduct a test and grade the practitioners.

It is the people who should select the right ones.

They should select the person based on the experience and fame and not by advertisements that they give though the media. The ultimate aim of any medical system is to give relief to the patients. As long as traditional medicines are able to do that they should be permitted. Let the Government leave the option to the public.

V. Prasanth

Chavara

Retrograde step

The State Government has created a situation wherein a section of the Ayurveda vaidyars, including the famous vaidyamadhom of Mezhathur, are prevented from practicing their profession.

This would leave quite a large number of patients from availing the services of these traditional doctors. This is apparently against the type of teaching-learning process adopted in most indigenous systems where the transfer of knowledge is orally through co-existence and without the help of usual classrooms.

The method is time-tested and found to be effective. In comparison with the present-day practice, there are lesser chances of corruption, particularly when we realise the integrity of persons of the stature of vaidyamadhoms.

The problem of quacks is probably more in the sphere of allopathy.

Vested interests behind the Government order also cannot be ruled out.

A more important aspect is that the information passed down through generations in Ayurveda is not fully available in textbook form. With such curbs, most of the knowledge would disappear.

P.R.V.Raja

By e-mail

An alternative

The new rule is to regularise the practice of traditional Indian systems of medicine and to prevent quacks. In the process, some vaidyars

practising for many years may be affected because of not having the required qualification or not conforming to set norms.

The Government could accommodate such doctors on the basis of their passing a one-time special exam conducted for this purpose within a specified period. The Government should also introduce more PHCs in rural areas.

A.Jacob Sahayam

Thiruvananthapuram

Ban the quacks

We have heard about Ashta vaidyars and their powers of healing.

They could foretell even the exact date and time of one's death. Such was their skill in the traditional system of medicine.

But quacks flourishing without a licence in this field will be detrimental to the system. Laws are necessary to stop them.

A ban on such practitioners will never kill the traditional systems of medicine, but will be a boon.

Sheraf Karuva

Kollam

Save them

The new rule is good for the protection of the system. But unfortunately, several among them have been denied the requisite licence either because they do not have the prescribed qualifications or conform to the norms set. These restrictions will constrain and kill the traditional Siddha system. Who says they have no prescribed qualifications?

They examine the pulse in the hands and legs and other parts of the body to diagnose a disease - they need no stethoscope to hear the sound of heartbeat. Authorities should recognise these as qualifications that traditional practitioners possess. It is a calculated blow to the Siddha system.

Members of a hereditary Siddha family must be encouraged to practice without any restrictions by giving registration so that the skill is not lost.

A. Adhikaranathaiar

Thiruvananthapuram

Exemption needed

Traditional system of medicine whether Ayurvada, siddha or anything like them is the treasure house of knowledge transmitted from the ancestors through generations after generations.

Though the practitioners do not possess the requisite qualifications, their practical experience and connoisseur is of immense value in the vortex of medicinal field and this has to be safeguarded and made use of along with the modern systems.

The traditional system should not be left to peril as it is Kerala's unique contributions.

It is not correct to attribute that the traditional practitioners are ignorant of the scientific methods.

This is worth to be highlighted that majority of them follow masterpiece like `Ashtangahrudaya' or `Thaliyolas' as the standard for treatment. Since they belong to the traditional vaidyan families, the medical authorities may not insist on their written examination certificate for issuing registration.

There are only a few such vaidyan families or centres of this category and they may be treated as a special category.

The medical authorities should clearly distinguish between the fraud practitioners and the genuine traditional experts.

People have faith in the traditional systems and they approach such real practitioners for solace with least expense.

G. Muraleedharan

Thiruvananthapuram

Safeguard vaidyars

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