Ayurvedic doctors can now practice general surgery

Ayurveda doctors can now perform surgeries with the central government allowing post graduate (PG) students to practise general surgery alongside orthopaedic, ophthalmology, ENT and dental.

The Centre amended the Indian Medicine Central Council Regulations, 2016, to introduce formal training in the above-mentioned procedures as part of the curriculum for postgraduate students of Shalya (general surgery) and Shalakya (diseases of ear, nose, throat, ENT, eye, head, oro-dentistry) specialisations.

The act has been renamed as Indian Drugs Central Council (Put up Graduate Ayurveda Training) Modification Laws, 2020.

“The PG scholar of Shalya and Shalakya shall be practically trained to acquaint with as well as independently perform the following activities so that after completion of his/her PG degree, he/she is able to perform the procedures independently,” read the gazette notification issued on November 19.

Students will be trained in two streams of surgery and will be awarded titles of MS (Ayurved) Shalya Tantra -- (General Surgery) and MS (Ayurved) Shalakya Tantra (disease of eye, ear, nose, throat, head and oro-dentistry), the notification said.

The training modules for surgical procedures will be added to the curriculum of Ayurvedic studies.

The decision will allow Ayurveda practitioners to legally perform procedures such as skin grafting, cataract surgery, root canal treatment, amputation of gangrene, laparotomy and ophthalmic surgeries among others.

Meanwhile, the President of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) said these surgeries were being done in Ayurveda hospitals for decades and that the notification was merely to clarify its legality.

“Postgraduate courses in surgery, ENT and ophthalmology have been there in ayurved since 20 to 25 years and we’ve always had surgical OPDs…No one had looked into the legality of what has been happening for decades. So after consultation with the ministry and Niti Aayog, it was decided to put it down in writing to make it clear that what is already being done is legal,” said Dr Jayant Deopujari, CCIM President.

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