After 25 years, the Pune unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has gradually distanced itself from the General Practitioners Conference or GPCON, and held a parallel meet in the first week of December. The IMA’s decision is aimed at mainly opposing crosspathy, as the GPCON comprises a majority doctors from streams such as ayurveda and homeopathy.
The IMA started distancing itself from the General Practitioners Association (GPA) — a local body of doctors — two years ago after the GPCON saw a sizeable participation of non-allopathy doctors.
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However, according to experts in the medical fraternity, it is the upcoming election to the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) on December 18 that has made doctors at IMA toe the line of its central body to oppose crosspathy.
“On a personal front, all of us are friends, but the Indian Medical Association is quite clear that it does not support crosspathy,” said Dr Avinash Bhondwe, former president of the General Practitioners Association.
Bhondwe, who is also the former president of IMA Pune, said they have officially stopped participating in GPCON. “We have set up a MULTI CON instead and have conducted two conferences. This year, the conference concluded on December 4 and included experts from various specialities, “ he said.
Dr Dilip Sarda, Pune’s candidate from IMA for the MMC elections, said participants at the GPA included a few allopaths and mainly non-allopathic practitioners. “We are opposed to crosspathy and the 207 branches of IMA across the state support the central body’s policies,” said Dr Sarda.
However, GPA president Dr Sanjay Wagh said that the GPCON is a two-day event in which participating doctors gear up to learn more about updates in their field, apart from paper presentations, medical quiz and other such events.
“We recently concluded our GPCON on November 26 and 27… we did have a large turnout, including non-allopathic practitioners,” Wagh said. He pointed out that such conferences — which give updates on latest advances in the medical field — were necessary as the number of MBBS doctors were few in peripheral areas of the city.
While IMA Pune has gone independent with its stand on crosspathy and managed to distance itself from GPCON, long-standing members of both GPA and IMA said the two associations shared some common members.