Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss is simply an MBBS and the country needs experts to manage the portfolio, said the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the apex association of doctors in the country, and asked the minister to involve it in decision making.
IMA chief Ajay Kumar on Friday said Ramadoss should not ask for support from Indian American doctors without first taking Indian doctors into confidence.
Speaking at the Indo-US health summit attended by over 125 doctors from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Kumar said: "The minister and the AAPI are behaving like two roses, and I feel IMA is a thorn in between."
"Let me tell you that he (Ramadoss) cannot achieve success with outside support. External immunity cannot help a body much, what we need is internal immunity," he said hitting out at the minister present at the function.
IMA, a private association of tens of thousands of doctors, has been at loggerheads with the minister over the proposed quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in institutes of higher learning for the past two years.
On Thursday, Kumar told IANS in reply to a question, that the "health minister is just an MBBS. The country needs an expert."
The IMA had also hit the streets several times opposing the government's quota move. Ramadoss has been supporting reservation for OBCs in top medical institutes and other institutes like the premier Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Ramadoss, addressing the summit, asked AAPI members to help India in improving maternal mortality, infant mortality and train Indian doctors in trauma care.
"My prime focus is reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate in the country. It's very high as against global standards. We have rolled out the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and want to upgrade all hospitals across the country."
"Here, we need the help of our doctors residing aboard. Trauma care and emergency medicine are two other areas where they can contribute largely to us," Ramadoss said.
He said many Indian doctors residing abroad are coming back and this is because of "our growth". "The infrastructure, the exposure and other benefits are very good in India. The doctors are of very good standard as well."
"Last year, 300,000 foreigners visited India for medical procedure here. This is an indicator of our growth and the global community is recognising it," the minister explained.
Indian-American doctors said they would help their native country upgrade its medical education system and train Indians in the field of emergency medicine.
Over 125 doctors of Indian-origin from the US are in the capital to participate in the first-ever Indo-US Healthcare summit. The three-day summit began on Thursday.
"We are here to share our knowledge and help improve the medical system in India," said AAPI president Hemant Patel.
Patel said the meeting aims at bringing together caring and dedicated physicians from both the countries to focus on six disease areas - diabetes, heart ailments, AIDS, TB, mental health and emergency medicine.