On May 20, a 17-year-old diabetes patient from Tirupur died after an acupuncturist asked him to stop his insulin injections.
The death had sent shock waves across the medical fraternity with many doctors voicing concerns on how quacks were inflicting damage on those gullible.
But it isn’t just doctors who are worried about quacks; even the Acupuncture Science Association wants the government to keep a tab on those practicing the healing system.
The association wants a central government appointed committee to monitor the work of acupuncturists.
“Acupuncture treatment is happening all over the world. But of 1000 acupuncturists in India, 300 to 400 acupuncturists are unqualified and do not have the requisite training. These things should be monitored by the Centre or state government,” said V Srikumar who works with the association based in Coimbatore.
“Look at Japan and other countries that practice acupuncture; they have proper course and a detailed syllabus for the system. After the course is complete, they have to work with senior acupuncturists for two years and then they are given government licenses. In India anyone can start an acupuncture clinic or even an institute,” he said.
He added that there was no certified board in India to provide licenses to acupuncturists in the country.
“Acupuncture therapists should at least know the anatomy and physiology of a person to understand where to prick the needle, how to prick it and what will be the adverse effects on the patient,” he said.
Srikumar however denies that an acupuncturist was responsible for the death of the teen in Tirupur. He maintains that the teen was treated by an ‘acutouch’ therapist and not an acupuncturist.
The association has sent a letter to Health ministry and ministry of Ayush to form a committee to monitor acupuncture in the state.