The state government’s move to allow homeopathy doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines, after undergoing a one-year course in pharmacology, has not gone down well with allopathy practitioners.
Medical bodies across the state were up in arms against decision. The common refrain was that ‘this decision would create chaos’.
Dr BK Goyal, director of cardiology at Bombay Hospital said that the state government’s decision would have a negative approach. “Many homeopaths will attend this course only for namesake, just to get the authority to practise allopathy,” said Dr Goyal.
He suggested that the government should instead introduce a graduation course where the two systems of health care — allopathy and homeopathy — are integrated. “But the present decision will only hamper health care as many of these people may not have proper knowledge of modern medicine,” said Dr Goyal.
On Thursday, the state government approved a decision in the cabinet to allow homeopaths to prescribe allopathic medicines. This, despite opposition from several cabinet ministers. Besides, the Maharashtra Medical Council and Indian Medical Association have vehemently opposed the move.
According to Dr Hrishikesh Pai, deputy secretary general, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, this move will only create chaos or put patients’ lives in danger.
“If doctors from a particular system of health care hold specialisation in a certain field, they should stick to that particular field. This is a bit like doctors who’ve done a basic graduation degree are allowed to practise in a specialised field like gynaecology,” said Dr Pai.
He added that if the government were indeed keen on allowing homeopaths to prescribe allopathic medicines, it should have asked them to undergo the four-and-half year degree MBBS course.”
According to the Indian Medical Association, as per a recent high court orders, somebody who has taken up education in a particular pathy (system) should practise that particular pathy.
Health activist Ravi Duggal termed the state government’s move a “desperate” one. “Our government has enough infrastructure but id does not have enough allopathic doctors to fill up empty posts. It is against the Supreme Court’s strictures that homeopathy and ayurveda doctors cannot practise any other system,” said Duggal.