The decision of the Union government to allow post-graduate students of Ayurveda to formally practice general surgery, along with opthalmology and dentistry is deeply disturbing. While it is nobody’s case that Ayurveda should not be allowed to be practiced, the fact that a post-graduate student of Ayurveda would be allowed to practice surgery without the requisite grounding and base in allopathic medicine system, education and training, is worrisome.
Let us face it. Ayurveda was, and still is, science, as it attempts to find answers to questions and tries to solve problems relating to health and life, through its own methods. It has a rich history and legacy too. Who has not heard about Maharshi Charak or Maharshi Patanjali?
However, for whatsoever historical reason, there has been a gap in the development of Ayurveda. Modern surgery is entirely based on the scientific concepts of modern medicine or allopathy. It requires intensive formal training and rigour to conduct surgery as mandated by modern medicine. Being a post-graduate in an alternative medicine, even if it is Ayurveda, may not qualify someone to learn the required skill to conduct modern surgery, with all the scientific understanding, safety measures and precautions.
While there is a need to develop traditional medicine systems too, until such systems develop their own methods of surgical intervention, their practitioners should not be allowed to carry out operations, which are completely grounded on some other system.
People, who are educated, urban and informed, may still be able to save themselves by exercising the option of not being operated upon by an Ayurveda surgeon. However, the government decision can prove fatal for the uninformed and uneducated masses who do not know the difference between an Ayurveda surgeon and an Allopath surgeon.
It is true that some cross-learning does take place and even allopathy learns from and adopts the experiences of many traditional medicine methods and systems. Yoga is one such example. However, allowing non-allopathic doctors to carry out surgery in allopathic method in the name of mixopathy and crosspathy will only bring dangerous consequences for the uneducated and unaware masses, who are already bearing the brunt of quackery in rural areas.
IMA is justified in its decision to fight this specific policy decision tooth and nail. Government must reconsider its decision to allow non-allopathic doctors to carry out surgery. Life is too precious to allow the untrained to play with it.