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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Maharashtra: Non-emergency services shut, over 1 lakh doctors in state to participate in IMA protest today

Against decision to allow Ayurveda PG students to perform surgery.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: December 10, 2020 8:26:37 pm
Officials said the MMC will assess whether Section 22 of the Maharashtra Medical Council Act, 1965, which allows the council to de-register doctors over misconduct, will be applicable in the case. (Representational Image) THE Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to seek help from retired civic and private doctors amid spread of COVID-19 cases. “We are sending letters to retired doctors to join service on temporary basis to help keep the situation in check,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Wednesday. The PCMC chief said the action was being initiated on the directions of the state government. PCMC has so far seen 12 positive cases for coronavirus and home-quarantined 1,164 people. Among the retired doctors are those who had worked successfully to tacke the H1N1 scare in 2009. “We are inviting them to take up the challenge as they have the experience of handling the situation,” Hardikar said. In 2009-10, a team of doctors, including PCMC health chief Dr Nagkumar Kunachgi, Dr Rajshekhar Iyer, Dr Anand Jagdale, Dr Shyamrao Gaikwad, Dr Mangesh Panse, Dr Kamal Yadav, Dr Pramod Kulkarni, Dr Shrikant Shinde, Dr Hemant Chikhlikar among others had worked during the H1N1 scare. While Dr Nagkumar Kunachgi has passed away, others have since retired and taken up private practice. Dr Rajshekhar Iyer, who was the director when the swine flu cases had caused major scare in Pimpri-Chinchwad, said, “If PCMC calls us to join them for the sake of people of Pimpri-Chinchwad, we are ready to take up the challenge. Ten years back, swine flu had thrown up a major challenge to our team. There were huge crowd of patients at our hospitals. Hundreds used to queue up for tests and treatments.” Dr Iyer recalled how the doctors' team had meticulously planned the entire operation back then. “We all gave our best and succeeded in controlling the HINI scourge,” he said. He added that if PCMC approached them, the entire team would come forward to take up the challenge. Dr Anand Jagdale, who headed the biggest 700-beded YCM hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad for over two decades, said he had not received any letter yet. Dr Jagdale, who was part of Dr Iyer's team during the swine flu scare, retired five years ago as PCMC health chief. Meanwhile, a private doctor said he had seen a general circular from PCMC commissioner on IMA WhatsApp group urging doctors to join hands with the civic body. “All private doctors are busy in hospitals. I doubt they would heed PCMC's call for a temporary two or three months,” he said. With very few experienced doctors, the PCMC is also facing problems in getting doctors of their choice join duty. “Those who have been selected are refusing to take up the job in the current situation,” said PCMC medical chief Pavan Savale.Overall, approximately 6 lakh doctor-members from IMA units across the country will be participating in the stir. (Representational Image)

A total of 1,10,000 doctors registered with the Maharashtra Medical Council, including 45,000 doctors from 219 branches of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Maharashtra, will take part in a nationwide agitation on December 11 to protest against a government notification allowing post-graduate students of Ayurveda to be trained to perform surgeries.

Dr Avinash Bhondwe, president of IMA’s Maharashtra unit, said that 15,000 medical students from 36 government and private medical colleges will also participate actively on behalf of IMA’s wing of Medical Students Network (MSN).

Overall, approximately 6 lakh doctor-members from IMA units across the country will be participating in the stir. Non-emergency services of all clinics, dispensaries and OPDs will be shut from 6 am to 6 pm . Emergency services such as Covid hospitals, ICUs, accident and trauma services, and maternity homes and neonatal ICUs will be functional.

The protest is against the recent gazette notification by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) – a body that regulates Ayurveda education – which allowed PG Ayurveda students to be given training in 58 surgeries from modern medicine.

Doctors have strongly opposed this and according to Dr Bhondwe, the CCIM has included these surgeries in the ayurveda syllabus without taking permission from the National Medical Commission, which regulates the branch of modern medicine. After the training, PG Ayurveda students will be awarded an MS (Master of Surgery) degree and this can be misleading for the public, said Dr Bhondwe.

“We are not against Ayurveda but mixing of different pathies will be detrimental for patients. The same Ayurveda students will be allowed to perform surgery on teeth, eyes, nose, ear throat, intestines, gall bladder and kidneys. Most of the 58 surgeries are performed by super-specialist surgeons and giving permission to Ayurveda students would be like gambling with the lives of patients,” said Dr Bhondwe, adding that the IMA has demanded withdrawal of the CCIM notification.

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