Doctors the practising Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy (Ayush) way of treatment started an indefinite strike on Sunday, urging the government to implement the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
If the Act is implemented, even Ayush doctors who are trained in allopathy can attend to patients in case of emergency. A large number of doctors gathered at Freedom Park on Sunday and staged a dharna.
Somashekhar Huddur, organising secretary, Ayush Federation of India, Karnataka chapter, said the state government has the authority to invoke the clauses of the act that enable eligible Ayush doctors to practise allopathy. However, the state government has been non-committal over the issue for long, leaving the doctors irked.
“We are basic health providers. We also study for four years like any other doctor. We study modern medicine as part of the syllabus along with internships and follow other norms that apply to other doctor,” said Huddur, adding that Central Council of Indian Medicine, an apex body, recognises the degrees of these doctors.
The doctors alleged that the government regularly conducted raids on their clinics in name of ensuring transparency. Huddur said the government was out to trouble them.
Dr Sateesh KL said Ayush doctors work in rural set-ups as well as in large clinics in urban areas. He said the doctors were working to serve the people, asking why the government could not implement the act that helps them serve the people better.
He said Ayush doctors had been struggling for recognition for 40 years and had had to beg for their rights, adding that the government’s reluctance to implement the Drug and Cosmetics Act was the limits.
To press for their demand, Ayush doctors have gone on an indefinite strike. Huddur said about 8,000 doctors in Bangalore and 30,000 across the state were taking part in the strike.