Ayurveda practitioners can now perform general surgery

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been openly opposing the policies of the Centre aimed at mixing modern medicine with traditional systems of medicine

A Supreme Court bench, led by Justice L Nageswara Rao, passed the interim order against a government order (GO) that allowed for 50% reservation in post-graduate and postgraduate super-specialty courses for government service doctors. Representative photo:iStock

Ayurveda doctors can now perform surgeries. The central government has allowed post graduate (PG) students to practise general surgery alongside orthopaedic, ophthalmology, ENT, and dentistry.

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

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

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The notification also said 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 (diseases of eye, ear, nose, throat, head and oro-dentistry).

Ayurveda practitioners will now be able to legally perform procedures such as skin grafting, cataract surgery, and root canal treatment.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been openly opposing these policies by the Centre, and the plan to mix modern medicine with traditional systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), in future.

IMA President Dr Rajan Sharma earlier described this integrative system of medicine as a “khichdi medical system” that would produce hybrid doctors. IMA has also criticised the Centre’s ‘one nation one system’ policy in medical education, describing it as a cocktail of disaster.

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