Ayurveda practitioners not entitled to same pay as doctors with MBBS degrees: SC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ayurveda practitioners not entitled to same pay as doctors with MBBS degrees: SC

ByAbraham Thomas
Apr 27, 2023 12:42 PM IST

The Gujarat government had approached the top court to appeal against a decision of the Gujarat HC which directed the state to treat doctors possessing BAMS degree at par with MBBS doctors

Ayurveda doctors cannot claim equal pay as their counterparts in allopathy as they do not perform equal work, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday while setting aside an appeal by government Ayurveda doctors in Gujarat for pay parity with MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) doctors.

The court noted that allopathy doctors perform emergency duties which is not true about Ayurveda practitioners. (Representative file image)
The court noted that allopathy doctors perform emergency duties which is not true about Ayurveda practitioners. (Representative file image)

Noting the distinction between the two disciplines, a bench of justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal said, “While recognizing the importance of Ayurveda doctors and the need to promote alternative/indigenous systems of medicine, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work to be entitled to equal pay.”

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The bench said, “We have no doubt that every alternative system of medicine may have its pride of place in history. But today, the practitioners of indigenous systems of medicine do not perform complicated surgical operations. A study of Ayurveda does not authorise them to perform these surgeries.”

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The Gujarat government had approached the top court to appeal against a decision of the Gujarat high court which directed the state to treat doctors possessing Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) at par with MBBS doctors in the state for getting benefits of recommendations of a pay commission set up by the central government in 1990.

Challenging the HC order, the state submitted a chart distinguishing the work performed by MBBS and Ayurveda doctors. Quoting from the chart, the judgment said that a post-mortem or autopsy is never carried out in presence of Ayurveda doctors. Even the magisterial enquiry for unnatural deaths under Section 176 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) requires presence of civil surgeon.

In addition, the Court noted that allopathy doctors perform emergency duties, provide trauma care, hold out patient department which is not true about Ayurveda practitioners.

“By the very nature of the science that they practice and with the advancement of science and modern medical technology, the emergency duty that allopathy doctors are capable of performing and the trauma care that they are capable of providing, cannot be performed by Ayurveda doctors,” the bench held.

The Ayurveda doctors had claimed on their part that they performed the same work as was done by other medical officers holding MBBS degrees by serving in various primary health centres and community health centres.

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