Private hospitals in Hyderabad like Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Indo American Cancer Hospital, Yashoda, Apollo and Omega hospitals halted their medical services on Friday in protest against the union Health Ministry’s decision allowing Ayurveda students to receive formal training for general surgery, ENT, ophthalmology and dental procedures. The protests were also backed by doctors from government hospitals like Gandhi Hospital, Osmania General Hospital and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), who gathered and raised slogans against the government, asking them to revoke the notification.
The protest call was given by the Indian government Medical Association (IMA), the largest organization of doctors of modern medicine in the country. Though the call was given to shut down the establishments for 12 hours (6 am - 6 pm), several hospitals resumed service after 2 pm.
On November 20, amending the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) issued a gazette notification allowing postgraduate Ayurveda students to undergo training for 58 surgical procedures in general surgery, ENT, ophthalmology and dentistry.
The IMA is up in arms against this decision. It has dubbed this controversial move to club Ayurveda and modern medicine, which are in two different spectrums, as “mixopathy.” The IMA also accuses the new move as enabling Ayurveda to “poach” modern medicine.
National secretary of IMA, Sanjeev Singh Yadav speaking to TNM said, “Several small and medium hospitals participated in the protest. The Indo American hospital had participated in the strike in a big manner. We were happy to see the support from doctors in Gandhi, Osmania and NIMS.”
“Ours is a just demand. We are not undermining Ayurveda but we don’t want them to be mixed with modern medicine. The Indian health system will collapse if this goes unchallenged,” Yadav claimed. According to Yadav, medical tourism, which is a booming industry in India, will see a rapid decline if Ayurveda students are allowed to perform surgeries.