The move will essentially help victims of natural disasters and road accidents, sources told TOI. The decision will involve changes in the Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Chikitsa Adhiniyam, 1939, ayush minister Harak Singh Rawat said. He termed the announcement “a boon for people in the hills, where primary health facilities are largely manned by Ayurvedic doctors”.
The minister added: “Uttarakhand has around 800 ayurvedic doctors and an equal number of Ayurvedic dispensaries out of which 90% are in the remote hills. By facilitating this move, we are helping our villagers – who stay close to the border areas and guard our frontiers – stay healthy.”
Uttarakhand will also become the first state in the country to have an ‘Ayurvedic Cancer Research Institute’ in Haridwar soon. With this, Uttarakhand will become one of the few states in the country where ayurvedic practitioners can prescribe around 70 allopathic medicines to patients for emergency use. The practice is also prevalent in states like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The government’s announcement comes close on the heels of the recent tiff between Ramdev and the Indian Medical Association after Ramdev raised questions on the role of allopathy in the treatment of Covid-19, sparking an ‘Ayurveda versus allopathy’ debate.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) vehemently objected to the government’s new policy. “This is bizarre. Such ‘mixopathy’ must stop,” said Dr Ajay Khanna, secretary, IMA Uttarakhand. Calling it “contempt of the Supreme Court”, Khanna added that the apex court in a detailed order has said that Ayush doctors cannot practice allopathy in any way.
Times View: Ayurved and allopathy are two entirely different streams of medicine. They require different kinds of training. Ayurveds or even chemists prescribing allopathic medicine on their own in remote areas may be commonplace, but sanctioning it officially is totally another matter. The government should not facilitate such makeshift practices.