Allopathy treatment will no longer be the preserve of MBBS doctors. Practitioners trained in ayurveda, homeopathy and unani will soon be allowed to prescribe allopathic treatment, after undergoing a one-year course in allopathy pharmacology, the government announced on Friday.
An ordinance to this effect will be issued next month.
Medical education minister Dr Vijaykumar Gavit told the state assembly that non-MBBS practitioners who intend to prescribe allopathic treatment will have to clear an examination in allopathy pharmacology.
This, the minister said, is to ensure that the government's decision stands up to scrutiny in court. The said course will start in August or September this year.
The ordinance may also allow doctors to pursue pharmacology in other cure therapies. For instance, an MBBS (allopathy) doctor can enroll for homeopathy course.
Pharmacology deals with preparation of medicines using several chemicals, herbs, extracts , their application, or dose management, and the preparation of antidotes to treat reactions or side-effects arising out of these medicines.
Allopathy therapy, in particular, provides fast relief in emergencies. The four major medical therapies - allopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy and unani - have their own pharmacology methods, which are vastly different from each other.
The decision is expected to benefit people in urban slums and in rural areas where non-allopathy doctors have a large presence. As per government estimates, there are over one lakh ayurveda, homeopathy and unani doctors practising in the state.
Many of them use allopathy without authorisation. Members of the assembly pointed out that this lack of authorisation was preventing non-MBBS doctors from administering life-saving allopathy drugs or treatments in emergencies.
Dr Gavit said some ayurveda practitioners were allowed to prescribe allopathy medicine as they had studied allopathy pharmacology as part of their degree course. However, the subject was taken off the syllabus, leaving pass-outs with no legal permit to prescribe allopathic treatment.