Ayush doctors to give exams for Covid-19 qualification certificate

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByRupsa Chakraborty
Apr 09, 2020 05:50 PM IST

Ayush is the acronym of medical systems locally practised in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

Over 1.5lakh Ayush doctors have been called to join the Covid-19 medical team in Maharashtra to provide additional hands during the pandemic.

Representational image.(File photo)
Representational image.(File photo)

Ayush is the acronym of medical systems locally practised in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

From Thursday, Ayush doctors have started their online training programme in Covid-19 care to procure certificates as per the guidelines of the state health department. In addition to this, the health ministry has sent a notice to Government Dental College, Fort, requesting their services in emergency.

As HT reported on Thursday, the health department has come up with a new guideline where suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients will be divided into three categories- mild, moderate and severe according to the condition of their health. Currently, in Mumbai as per the record of Maharashtra Medical Council, there are above 20,000 registered allopathy doctors. But if the community transmission starts in Mumbai region with a population of 1.84 crore, the ministry will require additional help from Ayush doctors and dentists.

“Ayush doctors have years of experience in handling patients. These doctors may not be directly involved in providing treatment to patients on ventilators but can take care of patients in mild and moderate categories,” said Kuldeep Kohli, director of Ayush, Maharashtra.

But only qualified Ayush doctors will be allowed to take care of patients. All the doctors will have to attend an online curriculum designed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences to gain basic knowledge about Covid-19 treatment. Following which, they will have to appear for an online examination to procure their qualification certificate.

“We will have to send the list of qualified Ayush doctors to the state government for their further reference. In the online course, through videos and exercises, doctors are given a basic understanding of how to handle patients along with maintaining their own safety,” said Kohli. “The training has started from Thursday which will continue for a week before they can start giving examinations for certificates,” he added.

Other than this, the state government is in the process of converting Podar Ayurved Medical College into a quarantine centre to treat mild patients. Kohli confirmed the development.

“As per the instruction of the Union Health Ministry, we are also suggesting people to consume Ayurvedic products like chyawanprash to build up their immunity. Through our Facebook page, we are also teaching people yoga,” he added.

Other than Ayush doctors, the state government also wants to include dentists to participate in taking care of the Covid-19 patients. Dr Vivek Pakhmonde, dean of Government Dental College said, “We have received a notice from the health ministry where they have instructed all registered dentists to stay at a stand by. If a situation arises, we will also have to cater to patients.”

A day after the state government called upon the retired doctors to provide helping hands in treating Covid-19 patients, a section of doctors has raised concern about it. As per the data of the health department, people between the age group of 60-80 are most vulnerable to the infection with the highest mortality rate.

“Asking elderly doctors to participate in treatment is too risky. If they get infected, the chances of the spread of the virus among patients and medicos are very high. Earlier, also we had written a letter to the corporation about the issue,” said Nilima Vaidya-Bhamare, secretary of Association of Medical Consultants.

However, though the state health department is yet to formulate the required role of elderly doctors in Covid-19 care, a senior health officer said, “We will not involve them in treating severe patients. We will post on the departments where the interaction with patients will be minimal. If a crisis arises, all the young doctors will be required on the field. So, we will need more hands, especially senior doctors in managing the desk duties.”

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