Now qualified practitioners in the traditional Indian medical systems such as ayurveda, siddha and unani can prescribe allopathic medicines as well in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Practioners in traditional medical systems have not been allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines and other procedures involving surgery etc as they are not trained in modern scientific medicine.
However, Tamil Nadu government in role reversal, has allowed the qualified practitioners of Indian systems of medicine like ayurveda, siddha and unani to practice various modern scientific medical specialities and surgery.
The health department of Tamil Nadu state government has written to the state police that institutionally qualified and registered practitioners of ayurveda, siddha and unani could practice their respective systems with modern scientific medicine including surgery, gynaecology & obstetrics, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, etc based on their training and teaching in the course.
The health department of Tamil Nadu, however, warned that if any of the practitioners trained in Indian sytems of ayurveda, siddha, unani is found practising only modern scientific medicine and not the one he or she is qualified to practice will be debarred.
Action will be initiated against ayurveda, siddha and unani medical practioners Indian system practicing only modern system of medicine under the Tamil Nadu Siddha System of Medicine (Development and Registration of Practitioners) Act 1997, and Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine Rules, according to reports.
The letter of the principal secretary, health, says, these doctors are barred from exclusively doing practice in allopathic medicine.
This means that the traditional doctors can prescribe allopathic medicines only in emergency cases. According to sources, if any of these ISM doctors are exclusively practising allopathic medicine, action will be initiated against them
Recently, there has been crack down against several so-called medical practioners with bogus degrees in ayurveda, siddha and unani systems of medicine in Tamil Nadu.
These unqualified quacks with bogus degrees in traditional medical systems were practicing modern medicine unintrruptedly for so many years in various places across the state.
Following this, Tamil Nadu branch of Indian Medical Association, which represents practitioner in modern medicine system, has protested and demanded that ayurveda, siddha and unani professionals should be banned from practicing allopathy because it could lead to serious harm to the patients as they are not trained in the discipline.
The Tamil Nadu branch of IMA had earlier approached the Madras High Court seeking an order to curb the practice of prescribing allopathic medicines by those who are not qualified or trained in the discipline. Acting on the charge, the high court of Tamil Nadu asked the state police to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
On raiding the premises of ISM practitioners, the police has unearthed a large number of clinics run by unqualified and un registered practitioners.
Practitioners in the Indian systems of medicines, on the other hand, came forward arguing that several state governments in India, including those of Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, are allowing the ISM doctors of their states to practice modern systems in cases of emergency.
In their representation to the government the ISM practitioners also expressed that police crackdown in their clinics and hospitals to ascertain they are not practicing allopathic medicines would also brand them as quacks.
The directive issued from the department of health requests the Director General of Police not to intervene with the practice of registered pPractitioners of siddha, ayurveda, unani and naturopathy who are registered with the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council and Tamil Nadu Board of Indian Medicine, reports said.
The government order also confirmed that the rights of the practitioners of ISM are protected under section 17 (3) B of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970, and accordingly the institutionally qualified practitioners of the system are eligible to practice.