They should be allowed to practise without registration,says public interest petition
A Vadodara-based naturopathy practitioner has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court to allow naturopathy doctors in the state to practise without getting themselves registered with an authority. The PIL has also asked the court to ensure that people practising naturopathy are allowed to add the prefix Dr to their name without violating any law. Besides,the state authorities should not harass them over the issue,Dr Prakash Chavda,the national president of Doctor of Naturopathy Society of India,said in his PIL.
He said the petition is the result of a show cause notice served by the Health Department to a Vadodara-based naturopathy practitioner,Bhagwat Singh Parmar.
The Block Health Officer of Pavi Jetpur,Vadodara had served a notice on Parmar dated February 26,asking why the department should not initiate legal steps against him as he is not registered with the Gujarat Medical Council (GMC). Besides,he also does not have the degree conferred by the GMC,necessary for carrying on private medical practice,the notice said.
Chavda said that under the provisions of the Gujarat Medical Practitioner Act 1963,doctors practicing naturopathy,hydrotherapy,and physiotherapy have been exempted from getting permission from the authority.
Chavda has made the Gujarat Board of Ayurvedic and Unani System of Medicines,and the Government of Gujarat as respondent parties in the petition.
In support of his petition,he has also annexed 11 documents,which include government resolutions and a judgement by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ahmedabad Rural district.
The petition says:No incident of death or physical damage has been reported during the treatment of naturopathy as is the case with some other medical treatments. It is a very simple remedy and there is no ban on it in India. Still,the two respondents in the matter have been illegally and unconstitutionally violating the fundamental rights of a person to get voluntary guidance from another person of his choice to cure his ailment.
Chavda told Newsline:Attempts are on to disturb the practitioners of Naturopathy,Yoga,Electro Therapy and Herbal Medicine. Following the Hepatitis B outbreak in Modasa,the state government has been harassing Naturopathy practitioners on some pretext or the other.
He added:If we practice allopathic treatment,then the government can take steps against us. But,when somebody is not doing it,he should not be harassed.
The petition has also demanded that the government should not initiate criminal steps against naturopathy practitioners unless there is a complaint by the patient.