Alternative medicines lobbying for legalising cross practice.
Separate proposals submitted to the Government
‘Thirteen States allow cross practice’
Bangalore: A 30-year-old woman recently went through a surgical abortion in a clinic on Pategarpalya Main Road near Moodalpalya in the city. Now the interesting bit: the surgery was performed by an ayurvedic practitioner.
The woman, a daily wage worker, was unaware that the practitioner was not qualified to do so.
Another resident of Geddalahalli on Hennur-Bagalur Main Road, who wanted to end her pregnancy, was given allopathic medicine (a single pill) by a Unani doctor who runs a clinic in the area.
The woman, who was illiterate, approached an allopathic doctor in the same area when the medicine did not work. She was eventually referred to a hospital as her condition required high-risk surgery.
These are just two examples of how cross practice is rampant in the city.
In fact, several groups of doctors practising traditional systems of medicine are lobbying with the Government to allow them to prescribe allopathic drugs during emergencies. Separate proposals have been submitted to the Government by the State units of Ayush Federation of India and National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) and Ayurveda Horata Samiti in the recent past.
‘System in practice’
“Such a system exists in 13 States, including Maharastra and Tamil Nadu. This is essential, especially in rural areas where there is an acute shortage of allopathic doctors. In fact, Ayush doctors are appointed by the government at district hospitals where there is a shortage of doctors,” said K.C. Ballal, former president of All-India NIMA.
No discussion yet
Confirming that the proposals had been received by the State Government, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) E.V. Ramana Reddy told The Hindu that the proposals were yet to be discussed.
Although the lobbying groups are hopeful of getting the Government’s nod, Mr. Reddy said: “This subject needs mature deliberation.”
Sources in the State Ayush Department said the lobbying groups were doing their best to convince Health Minister B. Sriramulu to approve the proposal.
The State unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) termed cross practice as “quackery”. “If the Government legalises it, we will launch an agiitation and approach the court,” IMA president M.R. Krishnaiah said.
Need for complaint
G.M. Veerabhadrappa, Registrar of Karnataka State Ayurveda and Unani Practitioners’ Board, said that though the board is authorised to check cross practice, it is helpless. “We can act only if there are specific complaints. Although people complain about, no one comes forward to lodge a case against a doctor,” he added.