Nearly 200 doctors in Pune participated in a nationwide relay hunger strike on Tuesday. IMA National President Dr J A Jayalal, who visited Pune to support the doctors who had gone on a day-long fast, said they would intensify the agitation on February 13 and 14.
The IMA is protesting the Central Council of Indian Medicine notification issued in November last year in the Gazette of Central Government, allowing post-graduate students of Ayurveda to carry out 58 surgeries.
“We are planning a series of programmes in capitals of each state on February 13 and 14,” Dr Jayalal said, adding that they would further adopt a non-cooperation stance if the doctors’ grievances and demands are not resolved.
“I want to make it clear that we are not against any system of medicine. But then let them perform surgeries as shown by Ayurvedic texts,” Dr Jayalal said. “This mixing of allopathic surgeries with Ayurveda will hamper the growth and very existence of the ancient branch of Ayurveda”, said Dr Jayalal.
Dr Ramkrishna Londhe, president of IMA’s Maharashtra unit, who was also present at the ongoing agitation at IMA hall, said that the CCIM notification should be withdrawn, apart from dissolving the four committees of the National Medical Commission, which were set up for this ‘mixopathy’.
IMA had called for a nationwide relay hunger strike by all association members at their local branches from February 1 to 14. Dr Aarti Nimkar, president of IMA’s Pune branch, along with Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of Hospital Board of India’s Pune chapter, and several others went on a day-long fast at the IMA office in Pune.
Chairman of Trust Board Dr Avinash Bhutkar and Executive Trustee Dr Jayant Navarange, along with office-bearers and past presidents of IMA, Pune, participated in the protest. Actor Dr Mohan Agashe also supported the agitating doctors.
“Doctors who were also working across hospitals in the city went on a day-long fast as part of the relay hunger strike,” said Dr Patil.
According to IMA doctors, there were several “fallacies” in the CCIM notification, in which modern medicine surgical procedures are renamed in Sanskrit and it is “claimed falsely” that they are original Ayurved surgeries. An Ayurved PG student, after completing this course, can perform surgeries from various specialised branches of modern medicine. It means the same ‘Vaid’ can perform appendectomy, surgery for kidney stones, ear surgery, cataract, is allowed to conduct gall stone surgery and is qualified to do dental extraction.
Such wide choice is not allowed legally to even the general surgeons of modern medicine, doctors said, further protesting that the Ayurved Vaids will be given MS degree, which will “confuse the patients about their pathy”.
Any operative procedure is a delicate procedure which carries a thin line between life and death. Modern medical surgeons perform several surgeries under experienced professors in the surgical streams before getting his /her post graduate degree. To perform gastrointestinal surgeries and laparoscopic surgeries, the surgeon spends few more years, which can’t be compared with the Ayurved curriculum where the basic concepts are different, said IMA doctors.