The Maharashtra state government today announced that non-allopathic doctors – the homeopaths, unani docs and ayurvedic doctors – will be allowed to practice allopathy or traditional medicine in the state. An ordinance will be issued in this respect next month. The alternative doctors will have to pass a one year course before they can practice though.
The members from the treasury and opposition benches raised the issue saying that this move could alleviate the woes of patients from rural areas. Medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit announced in the state assembly on Friday that though the existing laws don’t allow such a practice, the state government wished to change the law. He said that the doctors, however, will have to complete a one-year course to practice other streams of medicine. “We want to amend Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961, and an ordinance in that respect will be issued by the end of August. After that, doctors from homeopathy, unani and ayurveda would be able undergo a one-year course of pharmocology and start practicing allopathy from next year,” said Gavit.
While clarifying that practicing the streams of medicine other than the one a doctor is trained in is illegal, the minister said that no doctor could be allowed to practice without completing the one-year curriculum. Even allopathic doctors who wished to practice in streams beyond their own would have to take this one year course.
Khushal Bopche, Nana Patole of BJP and Vijay Vadettiwar of the Congress said that the doctors from other streams should be allowed to practice allopathy as they save hundreds of lives in rural areas. Bopche said that there are more than 57,000 doctors from the homeopathy, unani and ayurveda stream in the state, and they should not be undermined.
India.com Health View
We think this is a rather bizarre move by the ministry. The principles of allopathy, homeopathy, unani and ayurveda are all very different and to allow docs to practice streams different from their own could be downright dangerous. Doctors have to study for years before they reach the level of expertise that allows them to treat patients and a one year course can not give them that expertise. Also this move might see students who want to practice regular medicine but couldn’t get through medical school opt for alternative courses and then practice regular medicine.