Monday, August 5, 2019

If Ayush doctors join mainstream practice, who will benefit?

The Rajya Sabha passed the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill on Thursday, with two new amendments. The Bill will be sent back to the Lok Sabha again before the president gives his assent by signing the Bill into a law.

Under the National Medical Commission, there will be 25% public health experts, including all Ayush practitioners who can do limited practice of modern medicine.

This will be done under Section 32 of the Bill, which provides limited license to unqualified non-medical persons. They have been termed “Community Health Providers”.

“…The Community Health Provider may prescribe specified medicine independently, only in primary and preventive healthcare, but in cases other than primary and preventive healthcare, he may prescribe medicine only under the supervision of medical practitioners registered under sub-section (I) of section 32…” This provision allows them to independently practice modern medicine. Once given free hand, it may well prove to be a formidable task for the government to check them.

This will benefit the pharmaceutical industry; the pharma market in India, which was Rs. 123973 crores in 2018, is expected to increase by 50-100%.

Modern medicine or Allopathy is western medicine as the drugs used have been developed in the West. The West wants Ayurveda and Homeopathy to finish in India.

Allowing practitioners of AYUSH systems of medicine to practice modern medicine gives a wrong perception of their skills. The message goes out that Ayush systems of medicine are not competent enough to treat common illnesses, which is incorrect and I think, an insult to practitioners of Ayush.

I am very well aware that both Ayurveda and Homeopathy can handle most common ailments. For example, the use of Arnica for pain in Homeopathy is well-accepted by many modern medicine doctors. Ayurveda detoxification comprising of nasya (nasal wash), vamana (stomach wash), Virechasn (small intestinal wash) and basti (large intestine wash) has also been very well-accepted in modern medicine. Some Ayurvedic massages and maneuvers may be better than physiotherapy.

I personally feel that promoting modern medicine for Ayush doctors will only lead to disintegration of our ancient systems of medicine. Their science will die out if not nurtured.

The government should instead work to revive Ayush systems of medicine in the country before they completely vanish. Ayush should be respected and they should excel in their pathy.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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