The Bombay high court has rejected a plea filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which sought an interim stay on the state government’s decision to introduce a one-year course on modern pharmacology for homoeopathic and Ayurveda doctors.
The course would allow these homoeopathy and Ayurveda doctors to practise allopathic medicine. The IMA’s plea was supported by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) and the Medical Council of India (MCI), claiming if homoeopaths and ayurveds are allowed to practise homoeopathy, it can be harmful for public health.
The attorney general rejected the plea on grounds that in the state’s rural areas and in majority of the primary health centres (PHC), homoeopaths and ayurvedic doctors hold most of the key positions, and granting the stay would lead to the collapse of the public health system across the state.
The attorney general informed the court that in Maharashtra, there should be a ratio of one doctor for every 400 citizens. However, in reality there is one doctor for 1,700 people and the situation is really bad in rural areas,said Dr Bahubali Shah, president, Maharashtra Council for homoeopathy. “He [the attorney general] further said homeopathic and ayurvedic doctors will not be allowed to practise allopathy beyond the scope of their training,” said Shah. The IMA’s Maharashtra branch, with support from the MMC and the MCI, had challenged a 1992 state government resolution (GR) — which allowed homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors to practise allopathy as per their “training in the particular field” — and the recent decision of introducing short-term pharmcology courses, on the grounds that this practise would be misused by many doctors. “We have not yet received the written order passed by court. Once we do, we may explore the option of moving the Supreme Court,” said an IMA office bearer.