Allowing homeopaths to practise allopathy not the solution to shortage of doctors in rural areas: HC
Allowing homeopaths to practice modern medicine is not a solution to the shortage of doctors in rural areas, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Wednesday and directed the Maharashtra government to clarify to what extent homeopaths would be able to practice allopathy.
“True, that there is a shortage of doctors in rural areas, but this is not a solution. The government has taken this very lightly,” said the division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice RI Chagla, while hearing a petition filed by the Pune branch of the Indian Medical Association challenging the constitutional validity of the 2014 amendment to the Maharashtra Homeopathic Practitioners Act, 1961. The amendment allowed homeopaths, along with Ayurveda and Unani practitioners to practice allopathy after undergoing a year-long certificate course in pharmacology.
The petitioner body received strong support from the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC), which has also opposed the government policy. “You intended not to make them complete allopathic practitioners and to restrict their role to the extent of primary care and treatment only, and ultimately the patient will have to see a proper doctor,” the judges reminded government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade. Senior advocate Janad Dwarkadas, representing the MMC, pointed out that this is not just an issue of interpreting a statute, but also of accountability.