Why doctors are holding nationwide strike?

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), an umbrella organisation for all conventional doctors and surgeons, criticising the legislation said it is a “mixopathy” and said that it “trivialises the medical profession,” as it gave a call for a nationwide strike.
Doctors form groups while protesting at Court Naka in Thane on Friday morning.(Praful Gangurde)
Doctors form groups while protesting at Court Naka in Thane on Friday morning.(Praful Gangurde)
Updated on Dec 11, 2020 09:37 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani Kumar

Around a million doctors in the country went on a day-long strike on Friday against the Union home ministry’s decision to allow post-graduate practitioners of Ayurveda to perform surgical procedures. However, the protest did not have much impact on the functioning of hospitals as emergency services were exempted.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), an umbrella organisation for all conventional doctors and surgeons, criticising the legislation said it is a “mixopathy” and said that it “trivialises the medical profession,” as it gave a call for a nationwide strike.

“The government’s decision to bring in a rule that allows practitioners in specified streams of Ayurveda to be trained to perform surgical procedures trivialises the medical profession,” Reuters quoted Rajan Sharma, the head of IMA, as saying.

Last month, the Centre introduced a rule that allowed post-graduate practitioners of Ayurveda, an ancient science of medicine in India, to perform certain surgeries. As per the notification, the post-graduates of Ayurveda can perform 39 general surgery procedures and around 19 procedures involving the eye, ear, nose and throat.

What is the notification?

In November this year, the Central Council of Indian Medicine, the regulatory body for the study and practice of Ayurveda in India, amended the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016, as it allowed Ayurveda doctors to be trained and legally perform minor surgical procedures including ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedic and dental procedures.

What IMA says?

The practitioners of modern medicine have criticised the government’s notification as they see it as “another step to advancing and legitimising mixopathy.” Demanding withdrawal of CCIM order, IMA says that it does not allow its own members to teach disciplines of modern medicine to students of other systems. “Let every system grow on its own strength and purity,” the doctors’ body said in a statement earlier.

In a statement last month, IMA said, “The purity and identity of Ayurveda stand equally challenged. That the council prescribed modern medicine textbooks and Ayurveda institutions practised surgery with the assistance of modern medical doctors cannot be reason enough to legitimise encroachment into the jurisdiction and competencies of modern medicine.”

What do Ayurveda practitioners say?

The traditional medicine practitioners have described the criticism as “misconception” and say that there is no risk of “crosspathy”. “It is a misconception that Ayurvedic doctors cannot perform surgeries. Apart from performing caesarean sections and hernia surgeries, Ayurveda surgeons have pioneered certain procedures for piles and fissure where modern medicine isn’t of much help,” Dr VN Mishra, medical superintendent at BHU’s Sir Sunderlal Hospital, said.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021