NEW DELHI: Allopathy doctors in government hospitals went on a one-day nation-wide strike on Friday in protest against the central government granting surgery rights to non-allopathic, post-graduate ayurvedic doctors. The government decision was based on an expert panel recommendation and aimed at overcoming the serious shortage of doctors across states.
The Indian Medical Association, the main organization of allopathic doctors, called the strike by terming the government step as “retrograde” and “unacceptable”.
The government has introduced rules whereby postgraduate Ayurveda doctors after special and additional training would be allowed to do surgery in certain no-harm segments in government hospitals. Fact is Ayurveda doctors too undergo a rigorous course to fully understand the science of body composition and its functioning though they were not allowed to do surgeries so far.
The expert panel recommended this step as being safe; but only what is required was a change in the mindset of the physicians’ community in general. Doctors, on their own, have no right to protest, let along go on a strike to paralyse the medical sector.
Allopathic doctors have been exerting pressure against the government decision on the ground that this went against professional ethics. However, the stand of the allopathic doctors is seen as part of an elitist self-esteem and pride about their professional strengths and an age-old tendency to treat non-allopathic medical professions with contempt.
IMA said in a statement: “We unequivocally condemn the uncivil ways of the Central Council of Indian Medicine to arrogate itself to vivisect modern medicine and empower its practitioners with undeserving areas of practice. The said council has come out with a gazette notification of a list of surgical procedures which can be performed by its practitioners. They have no right to the technical terms, techniques and procedures of modern medicine. IMA draws the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ which they can cross at their peril.”
There have been suggestions to the central government that it must handle the situation in a tough manner, and not yield to the whims of the allopathic doctors and the Indian Medical Association. It remains to be seen whether Narendra Modi’s “please all” style of governance will show the courage to check indulgences by the IMA and its doctors. This strike comes at a time when the nation is seriously faced with the Covid pandemic. IHN-NN
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