The state government’s recent resolution that yoga and naturopathy graduates cannot be registered as medical practitioners and cannot use the prefix “Dr” with their names has disappointed the Indian Naturopathy and Yoga Graduates’ Medical Association (INYGMA) with members of the state unit stepping up their demand to amend the order.
Dr Dhananjay Arankalle, the President of (INYGMA), Maharashtra, along with other office bearers has been meeting several authorities in the state and urging them to recognise the Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS) from any medical university.
They have demanded that a Class “A” medical practitioner status be given to the BNYS graduates in Maharashtra, as is the practice in other states.
A government resolution, dated January 31, 2019, issued by the State Directorate of Medical Education and Research has permitted the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, at Nashik, to start a bachelor degree course in naturopathy and yoga science from the 2019-20 academic year.
But the DMER’s office has listed several criteria that have to be met, including that the curriculum be decided by MUHS, followed by the government approval of the syllabus.
Another criteria is that yoga and naturopathy practitioners will not be able to practice as registered medical practitioner, according to the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961. While they cannot claim to be medical practitioners, they will not be allowed to use the prefix “Dr” after having completed the four-and-a-half-year degree course in BNYS.
Dr K D Chavan, Registrar, MUHS, told The Indian Express that they have set up a committee to work out the details of the curriculum. A notification will be issued inviting applications from educational trusts and interested institutes to run the four-and-a-half-year degree course. He, however, admitted that currently, there was no naturopathy colleges and affiliated hospitals in Maharashtra.
Currently, BNYS courses are taught at naturopathy colleges in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Dr Arankalle said they have demanded for recognition and registration as qualified naturopathy physicians. “I have graduated from MGR medical university, Tamil Nadu, and been registered with the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy Ministry of Ayush, Government of India. The state GR is contradictory to what has been allowed by the central government’s guidelines on accreditation of naturopathy practitioners,” Dr Arankalle said, adding that the system of medicine unfortunately remains neglected in the state.
The primary qualification in Naturopathy is BNYS — Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences — is a full-time, residential, five-and-a-half-year medical course.
Currently, there are 33 medical colleges imparting BNYS in the country, and five medical colleges offering MD in naturopathy. All the colleges are regulated by the respective states medical universities and the state AYUSH departments. “There is no mention of yoga and naturopathy as a system of medicine in the Maharashtra AYUSH department,” he added.