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Times of India
13 October 2010
By Pushpa Narayan
Chennai, India

Committee To Submit Recommendations To Health Dept
The government will soon set up a committee to look into the issue of Indian medicine practitioners being allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines and conduct surgeries, health secretary V K Subburaj said on Tuesday. Several doctors’ associations had approached the government urging it to reconsider its order issued in June. Some had even threatened to boycott work.

Panel To Decide If Traditional Med Doctors Can Use Allopathy
"The composition of the committee will be announced in two days. It will comprise experts from both sides. They will submit recommendations to the health department. We will then decide on whether the order needs to be revised," Subburaj said.

Some allopathic doctors’ associations said they did not want discussions over the issue. Indian Medical Association honorary secretary Dr TN Ravishankar said it was unfair to say practitioners of Indian medicine were qualified to practise modern medicine after the little training they receive at colleges. "We are left with no choice but to appeal against the government order," he said.

Last week, Tamil Nadu State Medical Council president Dr Prakasam threatened to launch a series of protests, including boycott of work. "We will unite all doctors’ associations, including the TN government doctors’ association, and boycott work, if the government does not withdraw the order," he said.

In June, the government had issued an order permitting practitioners of Indian medicine to prescribe allopathic drugs based on the amendments to the Central Council of Indian Medicine Act. The Act had permitted practitioners of Indian medicine to adopt "advances in modern medicines".

The state also approved it as it believed that students of Indian medicine were being trained in allopathy also during their course. In July, the Madras high court said registered practitioners of Indian systems of medicine could practise surgery, obstetrics, ENT, ophthalmology and anaesthesia.

The government also issued a notification to amend the Drug and Cosmetics Act to enable Indian medicine practitioners to prescribe allopathic drugs.

While Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University vice-chancellor Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan told The Times of India that the university would soon ensure that the allopathic contents were deleted from courses like Unani, Siddha and Ayurveda, the university also threatened to move court along with the doctors’ association appealing against the high court order.

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