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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