AYUSH Ministry clarifies on allowing PG students to perform 58 surgeries

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The Ministry of AYUSH has denied reports of clubbing Ayurveda with Allopathy medicine by allowing 58 surgeries by the Ayurveda PG Students.

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In a quick-reaction to the reports appeared in some section of media this morning which was even opposed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the AYUSH Ministry termed them as misreported and incorrectly interpreted versions of its notification issued on November 20.

In fact, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), the statutory body under the Ministry of AYUSH that regulates the Indian Medical systems of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Unani Medicine has issued a notification to streamline some of the provisions of the regulations concerning Post Graduate Ayurveda Education by adding clarity and definition pertaining to allowing them to perform 58 operations.

To lay to rest the apprehensions arising out of such incorrect interpretations, the Ministry has issued the following clarifications answering the questions that have been raised in this matter:

1. What does the notification, called the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations, 2020, deal with?

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 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.

2. Does the said notification signify a policy shift in the matter of practice of surgical procedures by practitioners of Ayurveda?

No, this notification is a clarification of the relevant provisions in the previously existing regulations of 2016. Since the beginning, Shalya and Shalakya are independent Departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures. While the notification of 2016 stipulated that the students shall undergo training of investigative procedures, techniques and surgical performance of procedures and management in the respective speciality, the details of these techniques, procedures and surgical performance was laid down in the syllabus of respective PG courses issued by CCIM, and not the regulation per se. The present clarification was issued in the over-all public interest by CCIM by bringing the said details into the regulation. Hence this does not signify any policy shift.

3. Why is there controversy around the use of modern terminology in the said notification?

The Ministry has not received any comments or objections about the use of modern terminology in the said notification and is hence not aware of any such controversy.

It is, however, clarified that all scientific advances including standardized terminologies are inheritances of the entire mankind. No individual or group has a monopoly over these terminologies. The modern terminologies in the field of medicine, are not modern from a temporal perspective but are derived substantially from ancient languages like Greek, Latin and even Sanskrit, and later languages like Arabic. Evolution of terminologies is a dynamic and inclusive process. Modern medical terms and terminology facilitate effective communication and correspondence not just among physicians, but also to other stakeholders including the public. In the instant notification, modern terms are adopted as per the requirement to ensure that the same is understood widely in the medical profession, in the stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT etc., as well as by the members of the public.

4. Does the use of modern terminology in the said notification amount to “mixing” of Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine?

Not at all. The purpose of all modern scientific terminology is to facilitate effective communication and correspondence among the different stakeholders. The stake-holders of the instant notification include not just the Ayurveda practitioners but also professionals of other stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT, insurance etc., as well as the members of the public. Hence the use of modern terminology was required. 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”.

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