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Times of India
15 June 2010
Chennai, India

‘MBBS Docs Cannot Sign Prescriptions Along With Traditional Healers’
Med panel bars mixing of treatments
The Tamil Nadu Medical Council on Monday warned nearly 20 allopathic doctors who share their prescriptions with doctors practicing traditional forms of medicines.

“We have found that some hospitals employ both allopathic and traditional practitioners. In such cases these should be two different departments. We have seen names of two doctors of two different streams mentioned together in one prescription. It’s difficult to find out who is prescribing what. The state ethical code for doctors also clearly says that names of doctors from two different streams cannot be clubbed in one prescription,”said Tamil Nadu State Medical Council president Dr M Prakasam, who is also the chairman of the Indian Medical Association’s quackery eradication committee. The council has threatened to initiate action against allopathic doctors who do not follow these ethical protocols. “We will not hesitate to temporarily strike their names off the register,”he said.

Acting on a petition in February, the Madras high court had asked the petitioner – a member of the IMA – to furnish the names of persons practising medicine without a valid licence. It had also asked the authorities to take stringent action against such persons.

Following this, the IMA on June 2 met senior police officials including DGP Letika Saran to submit the list of quacks with evidence including prescriptions and case sheets. The IMA’s list included erstwhile cooks, masons, doctors’ errand boys, nursing assistants and self–proclaimed traditional healers who had been prescribing allopathic medicines to patients. Based on the prescriptions which include antibiotics, anti–inflammatory medicines, painkillers and even habitforming drugs like anti–depressants, the police raided several clinics across the state and arrested more than 200 persons.

On Monday, some of the traditional practitioners cried foul. They met officials in the health and home department besides submitting their representations to deputy chief minister MK Stalin stating that with such arrests, all doctors of Siddha, Unani and Ayurveda may branded as quacks.

The city police, meanwhile, said they have found 70 persons with qualifications in Ayurveda and Siddha practicing allopathic medicine. “They have also been arrested,”a police official said. Special teams raided clinics in Chennai’s suburbs. In Tirunelveli, officials raided areas including Nanguneri, Kalakad, Valliyoor, Moolakaraipatti, VK Puram and Ambai and arrested more than 40 doctors. “None of these people were able to produce certificates to prove their educational qualification,”a senior police said

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