A mid much opposition, the State cabinet on Thursday passed the Medical Education department’s controversial proposal to allow homeopathic doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines, after completing a year-long course in Pharmacology at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik. Congress ministers including Suresh Shetty and Nitin Raut, as well as R R Patil of the Nationalist Congress Party, opposed the proposal vehemently.
In view of the stand-off, Home Minister R R Patil reportedly suggested the decision be referred to a sub-committee, but he was overruled. Other NCP ministers supported Medical Education Minister Dr Vijaykumar Gavit’s proposal. The decision will benefit 62,000 homeopathic doctors in the state. Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Maharashtra Association Resident Doctors (MARD) are opposing the decision. “MBBS doctors put in years of hard work. Here, the government is allowing doctors to practice the same thing after just one year. This decision has been taken due to the vested interests of ministers, as many own homeopathic colleges,” said Dr Dilip Sarda, state president, IMA.
However, hospitals seem happy with the decision, as it could solve their doctor availability problems. Bomi Bhote, Chief Executive Officer of Ruby Hall Clinic, lauded the decision, saying, “Even if they may not prescribe medication, homeopathic doctors with this additional qualification will be useful for record keeping or vigilance. MBBS doctors are very hard to fine these days. Forget about villages, they are unwilling to join even in cities, and often quit within three months. At least homeopathic doctors stick around.”