‘Allowing Ayush doctors to perform surgeries unscientific’
Allopathic medicine is a scientific and an evidence-based practice. Doctors study basic medicine of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology to know various living entities that harm the human body. They meticulously pursue pathology, ENT, ophthalmology, social and preventive medicine, forensic medicine psychiatry, medicine, paediatrics, surgery and many more specialities for four and a half years with a year of practical training — housemanship.
Later, they train for three years for PG in a specialised branch of medicine and another three years for a Super Speciality course to acquire and hone highly specialised skills, particularly in surgery. An allopathic surgeon trained not only in wielding a scalpel but also in troubleshooting and at the same time providing a healing touch.
Out of the blue, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) released a direction saying that Ayurvedic PG students can also conduct surgeries. How can one permit an incompletely trained person to draw the scalpel on helpless patients? Is this not legally validating harm to unsuspecting patients?
It took centuries for robotic surgery to develop with much-advanced technology, which needs monitoring by a trained human remotely. Without understanding or considering such nuances and holding deliberations, the CCIM issued the directives that allow Ayurveda PG students to perform surgeries.
I feel that the CCIM directives are not in the right direction. To be a surgeon is not just about learning the procedure because there is an art that develops and blends with the skill. An Ayush doctor, whose basic knowledge of pharmacology and microbiology and social medicine is not evidence-based or transparent, needs to be kept away from carrying out surgeries.
What has compelled the CCIM to give permission to Ayush doctors to take up surgery? The answer lies in the shortage of doctors to take up the burden of healthcare. Then the most logical and ethical way left is to produce qualified Allopathy doctors especially in fields like surgery.
Alternative solutions would be to give permissions to set up more government and private medical colleges, create student-exchange programmes with global institutions and fund Indian graduates to achieve higher skills in western countries because that is the need of the hour.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) is certainly not against any branch of medicine that is being practised. We respect all of them for every branch has its own unique skill. We are opposing the concept of Mixopathy which is unscientific and endangers the lives of patients.
Can India hold its place of respect on the international medical front when such unsafe medical practices are encouraged? I think not. Will international medical tourism close its doors to India? Definitely!
As a social responsibility, IMA has decided to go on a relay hunger strike for 14 days to bring awareness among the common people about the dangerous consequence of Mixopathy. Now it is left to media, voluntary organisations and intellectuals across the country to make people aware of the perils of Mixopathy.
Dr BN Rao, president-elect, Telangana State, IMA
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