The state cabinet on Thursday gave the green signal for homoeopathy doctors to prescribe allopathy medicines–—provided they undergo a year–long certification course in pharmacology.
The state has around 62,000 homoeopaths who could benefit from the decision, but allopathy practitioners made their uneasiness known immediately. The Indian Medical Association’s Maharashtra chapter is, in fact, preparing to move the court against the cabinet decision. "An MBBS student learns pharmacology in the initial period of the fourand–half–year–long course.
They have three years, including their internship period, to familiarise themselves with pharmacology. So, how can a homeopath learn it a period of a year?" asked Dr Jayesh Lele, secretary of IMAMaharashtra. Homeopaths first made a plea to allow combined practice almost three decades back. Their fellow practitioners in Ayurveda and Unani are allowed to prescribe allopathy medicines.
Govt OKs addition of 10,000 MBBS seats T he Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal to create 10,000 new MBBS seats in government medical colleges. At present, there are around 22,500 MBBS seats in govt colleges. P 9 Allopaths oppose bid to let in homeopaths ‘Shortage Of Rural Doctors Prompted Move’ State government officials said the cabinet nod for a bridge course between homoeopathy and allopathy was prompted by shortage of doctors in rural areas. They said allopathy doctors often abstained from mandatory rural service.
"Even in urban areas such as Mumbai, homeopaths are appointed as housemen in most hospitals. We are just ensuring that their education is better," said an official.
The one–year bridge course–named Certificate Course in Modern Pharmacology—will be conducted by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik.
In 1999, the then government had decided to allow the switch and following the advice of the state legal department, amended the Maharashtra Medical Council Rules and Regulations Act 1965. But the decision remained in cold storage after the change in government. In the late–90s, the Dr Ganeriwal Committee and solicitor general R M Kadam had approved the decision but with a pre–condition that the homoeopaths should undergo standard certification of the health university.
Thursday’s decision follows the recommendation of the 13–member committee set up in 2012. The committee, led by director of Ayurveda Dr Kohali and a vice–chancellor of the state university of health sciences, asked the government to start the bridge course first and then amend the Act so to allow homoeopaths to start practice.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors said it was opposed to the government’s decision. "We will soon move the high court demanding a stay," said MARD Central president Santosh Wakchaure.
Dr Jayesh Lele, secretary of IMA–Maharashtra, said the Bombay high court recently ruled in the IMA’s favour in a petition filed by homeopathy doctors. "The court in a different case ruled a doctor with an MD (postgraduate) in medicine can’t prescribe medicines for heart attacks unless he does a two–year course in cardiology. How can this one–year bridge course the work?" he said.
Maharashtra Medical Council president Dr Kishor Taori said, "It is a retrograde step. Leading homeopaths have gone on record saying such a move would kill their science."
But the Maharashtra Council for Homeopathy was elated. "The government has listened to a long–standing demand in the interest of public health," said Dr B Shah of the council.BRIDGING THE DIVIDE
62,000 homeopaths in the state may benefit from the decision to let them prescribe allopathy drugs Difference In Allopathy–Homeopathy Curriculum
The state government–appointed Ganeriwal Committee, which studied homeopathy and allopathic courses in 1997, concluded that the curriculum for both courses was quite similar. It said the first–year course focusing on anatomy was the same, the major difference between the two was in pharmacologyOne–Year Bridge Course
The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences will conduct a one–year certificate course in modern pharmacology for homeopaths and issue certificates. The course is expected to be offered in all 41 medical collegesGovt Nod For Ayurveda & Unani Doctors
Under the Maharashtra Medical Council Act of 1965 and the Drug & Cosmetics Act, 1941, ayurvedic and unani graduates are already allowed to prescribe allopathic drugsThe Implication
Homoeopaths who are certified for modern pharmacology, will be allowed to prescribe allopathic drugs. However, they can’t perform operations CHINA'S BAREFOOT DOCTOR MODEL
In 1949, when communists came to power in China, the country had 40,000 doctors for a population of 540 million. Rural areas only had traditional medicine practitioners. The government conducted sixmonth courses to train locals in providing healthcare. China's band of barefoot doctors was pressed into service from 1958. In the 80s, the WHO applauded the barefoot doctors and their contribution in keeping the rural population healthy
In 2001, Chhatisgarh began a three–year health programme to address the shortage of rural medical practitioners. Rural Medical Assistants were pressed into service in 2008. The Public Health Foundation of India reviewed the performance of RMAs and said they were adequately trained to handle rural healthcareSource
Times of India
10 Jan 2013,
by - Chittaranjan Tembhekar & Malathy Iyer