Hyderabad: The recent notification by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) to allow Post Graduate students of Ayurveda to conduct certain surgical procedures has ended up pitting the practitioners from both the sides at odds with each other. The CCIM amendment has now become a major bone of contention with Allopathy practitioners terming it as attempts at ‘Mixopathy’, adding that such decisions were aimed at ‘encroaching upon the jurisdiction and nomenclature of modern medicine degrees’.
It all started on November 20 when the CCIM, which is a statutory body of the Ministry of AYUSH, issued an amendment to the Indian Medicine Central Council (PG Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016. The amendment has listed 58 surgical procedures that can be taken-up by Ayurveda PG students pursing ‘Shalya’ and ‘Shalakya’. Once the training is over, the PG Ayurveda students can practice the surgical procedures independently.
The CCIM amendment literally managed to ‘lit the fuse’ for medical bodies including Indian Medical Association (IMA), who were already unhappy over the devolution of Medical Council of India (MCI) and establishment of National Medical Commission (NMC).
The decision to allow Ayurveda PG students to take up certain surgical procedures was not taken in isolation. In fact, it is part of the Centre’s attempt at having a ‘One Nation and One Health System’ policy that is aimed at integrating various systems of medicines including Allopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani in medical practice, education, public health and research.
Inspired by the Chinese system, which strives to strike a balance between modern and traditional Chinese medicine, the integrated healthcare system is also aimed at providing holistic care to patients in India depending on their medical condition. Moreover, allowing PG Ayurveda PG students to take up surgical procedures also has the potential to address the chronic manpower shortage in the Indian healthcare system.
In fact, the recently released National Education Policy (NEP) also exhaustively mentions the need to integrate modern medicine with traditional systems of AYUSH. To make this happen, the NITI Aayog has set up committees that will propose framework for integrative health system of Indian traditional systems with modern medical systems.
IMA calls it as ‘Khichdification’ of medical education
The CCIM notification and NITI Aayog’s intervention in implementing an integrative health care system, has not gone down well with Indian Medical Association (IMA). The doctors’ body has called for an all Indian protest on December 11.
Taking exception, IMA Secretary General, RV Ashokan in an official message said, “The CCIM amendment is encroaching upon the jurisdiction and nomenclature of modern medicine degrees and also allowing the Ayurveda students to ‘avail of’ modern surgical teachings, and the practitioners to independently practice modern medical surgery. This is not a step in isolation. There has been strategic move towards Mixopathy i.e. mixing of all the systems of medicines.”
IMA has also criticised the decision of NITI Aayog to set up four committees to integrate different systems of medicine in medical education, clinical practice, public health and medical research.
“We call it ‘Khichdification’ of medical education. The CCIM notification is the logical corollary in ‘Mixopathy’ rather than pitting one system of medicine against the other. This has serious implications. IMA does not see it as mere professional issue. It can affect or lead on to the loss to all the gains that we had in the past 70 years,” Dr Ashokan said.
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