Ayush Ministry clarifies order allowing Ayurveda PG students to practice surgery


The Ministry of Ayush has issued a clarification regarding an earlier government notification, which allowed Ayurveda postgraduate (PG) students to practise general surgery alongside orthopaedic, ophthalmology, ENT and dental.

In its clarification, the Ayush Ministry said, “It has come to the notice of the Ministry of AYUSH that some misreported and incorrectly interpreted versions of the above notification have surfaced in some media platforms, leading to misinformation about the nature and purpose of the said notification.”

“To lay to rest the apprehensions arising out of such incorrect interpretations, the Ministry is now issuing the following clarifications answering the questions that have been raised in this matter,” its notification added.

The Ayush Ministry said the earlier notification was issued to streamline some of the provisions of the regulations concerning Postgraduate Ayurveda Education by adding clarity and definition to the same.

It clarified that the notification was related to the Shalya and Shalakya streams of Post Graduation 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 in, so as to enable them to independently perform the said activities after completion of their PG Degree,” the ministry said in its clarification statement.

“The notification is specific to these specified surgical procedures and does not allow Shalya and Shalakya Postgraduates to take up any other types of surgery,” it added.

It also denied allegations that the notification signifies 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 beginning, Shalya and Shalakya are independent Departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures,” it said.

“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 specialty, the details of these techniques, procedures and surgical performance were laid down in the syllabus of respective PG courses issued by CCIM, and not the regulation per se,” it added.

“The present clarification was issued in the overall public interest by CCIM by bringing the said details into the regulation. Hence this does not signify any policy shift.”

On the controversy around the use of modern terminology in the notification, the Ayush Ministry said that it has not received any comments or objections about the use of modern terminology in the said notification.

“It is, however, clarified that all scientific advances including standardised terminologies are inheritances of the entire mankind. No individual or group has 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,” it said.

The ministry also clarified that the use of modern terminology in the notification does not amount to “mixing Ayurveda” with conventional or modern medicine.

“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,” it said.

“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,” it added.

On Saturday, controversy erupted after the Centre’s notification as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposed the decision to “mix” modern medicine with traditional systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH).

IMA President Dr Rajan Sharma had earlier said an integrative system of medicine would create a “khichdi medical system” and produce hybrid doctors. The body of private practitioners of modern medicine also opposed the Centre’s ‘one nation one system’ policy in medical education and called it a cocktail of disaster.

Former IMA chief and TMC MP Santanu Sen was also not on board with the Centre’s plan.

“If the govt wants to promote surgery in Ayurveda, it can create its nomenclature & train students. But by promoting mixopathy, it is playing with the health of Indians. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been fighting against it tooth and nail,” Sen was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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