Retrograde: IMA on nod for surgery by Ayurveda doctors

Retrograde step: IMA on Centre allowing post-grad Ayurveda doctors to perform surgery

What is the sanctity of NEET if such lateral shortcuts are devised? the doctors' body said

Representative image: iStick Photo

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned the move by the Central Council of Indian Medicine authorising post-graduate practitioners in specified streams of Ayurveda be trained to perform surgical procedures and described it as a "retrograde step of mixing the systems".

Demanding that the order be withdrawn, the IMA urged the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), a statutory body under the AYUSH Ministry, to develop their own surgical disciplines from their own ancient texts and not claim the surgical disciplines of modern medicine as their own.

The notification by the CCIM listed 39 general surgery procedures and around 19 procedures involving the eye, ear, nose and throat by amending the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016.

In a statement, the IMA said, "Such a deviant practice is unbecoming of a statutory body. The IMA will have no objections for the council to develop their own dedicated disciplines without mixing modern medicine surgical disciplines."

Read: Ayush Ministry issues clarification over allowing Ayurveda doctors to do surgeries

It also demanded that the government should refrain from posting any doctor of modern medicine in the colleges of Indian medicine.

"The IMA sees this development as a retrograde step of mixing the systems which will be resisted at all costs. All over India students and practitioners of modern medicine are agitated over this violation of mutual identity and respect.

"What is the sanctity of NEET if such lateral shortcuts are devised? IMA demands to withdraw the order and first delineate the Indian Medicine disciplines based on original Indian Medicine texts," the doctors' body said.

Meanwhile, AYUSH Ministry Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said the notification by the CCIM does not amount to any policy deviation or any new decision.

"This notification is more of the nature of a clarification. It streamlines the existing regulation relating to post graduate education in Ayurveda with respect to the specified procedures.

"Further, the notification does not open up the entire field of surgery to Ayurveda practitioners and specifies a set of surgical procedures. It outlines that not all post-graduates of Ayurveda can perform these procedures. Only those specialised in Shalya and Shalakya are allowed to perform these surgical procedures," Kotecha said.

Chairman of the Board of Governors, CCIM, Vaidya Jayant Devpujari clarified that these surgical procedures are being performed in Ayurveda institutes for over 20 years and the notification legalises them.

"The purpose of bringing out the notification is also to set boundaries by specifying the list of procedures so that practitioners restrict themselves to the set of surgical procedures as mentioned in the regulation," Devpujari said.

According to the November 20 gazette notification the procedures listed include removal of metallic and non-metallic foreign bodies from non-vital organs, excision of simple cyst or benign tumours (lipoma, fibroma, schwanoma etc) of non-vital organs, amputation of gangrene, traumatic wound management, foreign body removal from stomach, squint surgery, cataract surgery and functional endoscopic sinus surgery.

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