How will the one-year course equip doctors of alternative medicine to prescribe allopathic medicines?
Alternative medicine doctors are currently illegally prescribing allopathic medicines without any training. In the one-year course, alternative medicine (homeopathy, ayurvedic and unani) graduates will be taught pharmacology, to help them understand the application of allopathic drugs. However, this will not put alternative medicine doctors on a par with MBBS doctors.
Will this new course affect the significance of the MBBS course?
There is a possibility that it might decline. Students who do not get into MBBS courses can opt for courses in alternative medicine. They will be able to prescribe allopathic medicines after this year-long course. Also, they will no longer have to refer patients to MBBS doctors.
What is the rationale behind introducing this course?
In Maharashtra, about 1,000 posts for MBBS doctors are lying vacant. In rural areas as well as in slum pockets in urban regions, alternative medicine doctors are the first point of contact for patients. If these doctors can treat them properly with allopathic drugs, public health will become better.
Is there a list of allopathic drugs non-MBBS doctors will be allowed to prescribe?
There is no specific list, but they will be allowed to prescribe only those drugs that they learn about in the course. Doctors can always refer patients to hospitals or specialists if required.