Ayurveda doctors can perform 58 surgical procedures

Post Graduate Ayurveda scholars can independently perform a total of 58 surgical procedures after appropriate practical training and completion of their PG Degree.

The AYUSH Ministry specified this in a clarification issued on Sunday on the “nature and purpose” of the ‘Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations 2020’ issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), the statutory body that regulates the Indian Medical systems of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Unani Medicine.

“The notification relates to the Shalya and Shalakya streams of Post Graduate Education in Ayurveda. The notification specifies (in clearer terms than the earlier notification on the subject) a total of 58 surgical procedures that PG scholars of these streams (cumulatively) need to be practically trained in so as to enable them to independently perform the said activities after completion of their PG Degree. The notification is specific to these specified surgical procedures and does not allow Shalya and Shalakya Post Graduates to take up any other types of surgery,” it clarified.

Since beginning, Shalya and Shalakya are independent departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures. While the earlier notification of 2016 stipulated that the students shall undergo training of investigative procedures, techniques and surgical performance of procedures and management in the respective specialty, the details of these techniques, procedures and surgical performance were laid down in the syllabus of respective PG courses issued by CCIM, and not the regulation per se.

The present notification “was issued in over-all public interest by CCIM by bringing the said details into the regulation. Hence this does not signify any policy shift,” the ministry said.

Earlier, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) openly opposed the policy, claiming the move would result in a “khichdi medical system”.

The IMA said it stands for purity of systems of modern medicine as well as Ayush and warned the new system will provide "hybrid doctors" and the choice of the patient is effectively nullified.

"It’s not in the interest of traditional systems either to lose their identity and further development. As such 96 per cent patients in IPD (inpatient department) and 94 per cent of patients in OPD are being served by modern medicine. Currently, a patient has the choice of choosing either modern medicine or alternative system as per their desire," said Dr Rajan Sharma, national president, IMA.

“…The question of “mixing” of Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine does not arise here as CCIM is deeply committed to maintaining the authenticity of Indian systems of medicine, and is against any such “mixing”,” the clarification statement by the AYUSH Ministry read.

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