Should ayurveda doctors be allowed to practise allopathy?

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NAGPUR: Would you rush to an ayurvedic, unani or homeopathic doctor in case of a heart attack? The chances are you would prefer an allopathic doctor. But, that may not be the case if you are rushed to a hospital in Maharashtra, be it government or private.

A Maharashtra government resolution issued in November 1992 for the medical education and drugs department allows doctors with degrees in ayurveda, unani, homeopathy and other therapies to practise allopathy.

The GR says ayurveda practitioners can practise allopathy to some extent, if they have requisite training. This GR was originally meant to boost collapsing health services due to dearth of MBBS doctors willing to serve in poor and rural areas. However, it is being ‘misused’ in both public and private health centres across the state.

Private well-equipped hospitals as well as those run by government bodies like the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) across the state are hiring doctors with BAMS or other degrees even in urban areas. Also, doctors trained only in ayurveda or other streams are allegedly practising allopathy. They are clearly playing with the lives of patients, say patients.

Anil Chouhan of Lok Vikas Manch submitted a written complaint against NMC with Imambada police station on April 6 in this regard.

Although NMC is not violating the law by hiring less-qualified doctors or allowing ayurveda doctors to practise allopathy, the matter has been thrown open for debate. TOI asked experts if it is ethical to allow such practices?

Members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) condemn such a practice. They say that a ayurvedic medicine practitioner is in no way qualified to practise allopathy and should not indulge in such unethical practise.

Dr Kishor Taori, member of Maharashtra Medical Council and Central Working Committee of IMA, New Delhi, pointed out that this amounts to quackery. “Where have they received training? The syllabus for ayurveda medicine courses provides no such training. The question of ayurvedic doctors practising allopathy simply does not arise. It amounts to quackery and the accused can be booked under anti-quackery law. IMA can take action against such doctors, if brought to our notice,” he said.

Ironically, persons with BAMS degrees, initially recruited as ayurvedic compounders, are now acting as medical officers in NMC. Member of executive committee of Medical Council of India and vice chancellor of DMIMS University Dr Vedprakash Mishra said, “There is a Supreme Court judgement in this matter. Section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 clearly defines who is qualified to practise ‘modern’ system of medicine. No deviation is allowed.” To practise allopathy, registration in State Medical Register is a must, pointed out experts.

Immediate past president of IMA, Nagpur, Dr Prashant Nikhade said, “One must analyse why allopaths do not wish to go to rural areas. The accommodation is so pathetic even animals would refuse to live there, forget doctors. IMA can prosecute anyone practising allopathy sans training.”

He added, “The state must respect the SC judgment and make conditions conducive for MBBS and MD qualified doctors in rural areas, like better salaries and facilities.”


7 thoughts on “Should ayurveda doctors be allowed to practise allopathy?

  • July 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    what do you mean by allowed? If a person can work in a field he should do. Govt has allowed some 8 month train worker to practice allopathy with “H” drugs. The field worker of health who are not MBBS are permitting to practice allopathy drugs in the field in absence of MBBS doctor but they are trained for 8 to 12 months only. So according to me to practice allopathy if one take 1 year training he can give first aid and primary treatment. Now the question is the education on the field for qualified. To practice in allopathy One should be minimum graduate in that field for batter serve. BAMS/BUMS/BHMS/BSMS are also trained in the same way of MBBS with their subject and if they are being trained for short term of allopathy with their own than it can be more helpfull for our total nation health and in the same way MBBS are also should be trained for some Ayurved/Unani/Homeopath etc.I think one should think for our country total health without westing time to controversy.

  • November 6, 2011 at 1:34 am

    this is a ridiculous article written by someone who is pathetic in knowledge about medical degree holders and their rights to practise by law. A 51/2 year degree recognised by govt as equivalent to Mbbs because of its difficult course and similar practicality and rules including internship has all the rights to practise what he studies within the country. I think you should go through the curriculum for bams doctors provided by CCIM , their eligibilities and their legal rights to practise. And surgeries? No one can deny the students of sushruta who was the first surgeon of the world to conduct surgeries when every thing is taught to them according to evolving sciences . So get your knowledge right and then come back.

  • January 8, 2012 at 3:55 am

    BAMS Ayurvedic doctors in their professional courses were taught Ayurveda with modern medicines. Some BAMS doctors good knowledge about Allopathy too. Currently BAMS doctors are encouraged to use modern medical science for diagnosing the health condition only and not treating.

    Most BAMS Ayurvedic doctors are found practising modern medicines in most of the parts of India. Practising modern medicine for Ayurvedic doctors in modern day has always been a controversial issue in India.

    As far as medical professional practice is concerned in India, currently no ayurvedic practitioner can successful without support of modern science including usage of emergency drugs and diagnostics methods. It is also true that no allopathic practitioner can be successful without using natural resources and healthy eating’s and life style measures.

    Government should be carefully responsible before giving registration to health care practitioners and permitting them with their medico-legal rights to open their clinics and do professional practices.

    As far as Surgery is concerned, more strict regulations are necessary and should never be allowed without proper qualification and expertise. The “malpractices of doctors” should be controlled with tough hand, effective “Lokpal” and severe penalty.

    The public illness is managed by doctors and the “doctors illness” should be managed by police.

  • January 27, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I agree.Moreover IMCC can arrange a test for BAMS/BUMS graduates, after qualifying it they must be allowed to practice in Allopathic system of medicine.

  • April 6, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Respected sir.u r member of indian medical council act and u r a qualified allopathic doctor as well sir as u comment bams degree belongs to ayurvedic compounders n if bams doctors . If indulge in allopathic practice they should be denoted as quackrs .if one should want to be a quack then i think 5 days are enough for that no need of 5 n half years .

  • April 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Dear Sir/MAm,

    Can you share me the copy of the existing GR that has been passed for BAMS practictioners to practise allopathy.


  • June 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Sure. rather a combination of both allopathy and Ayurveda can lead to a successful cure and remedies of illness. Rather if doctors in India carry both systems knowledge, they can beat any doctor from outside world.


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