In a unexpected move, he government recently issued a notification allowing Ayurveda doctors to be trained and legally allowed to perform a variety of general surgical, ENT, ophthalmology, ortho and dental procedures. In a gazette notification dated November 19, the CCIM amended the Indian Medicine Central Council Regulations, 2016 to introduce formal training and practice of surgeries to the PG students of Ayurveda. The students would receive training in 'shalya' (general surgery) and 'shalakya' (diseases of ear, nose, throat, eye, head, oro-dentistry) specialisations. It will make them legally valid to perform procedures such as skin grafting, cataract surgery and root canal treatment.
However, the CCIM president said that these surgeries have been going on in Ayurveda institutes and hospitals for over 25 years and that the notification was merely to clarify that it is legal. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly condemned the move, saying it was a retrograde step of mixing the systems which will be resisted at all costs. "All over India, students and practitioners of modern medicine are agitated over this violation of mutual identity and respect," the IMA said.It also urged the CCIM to develop its own surgical disciplines from its own ancient texts and not claim the surgical disciplines of modern medicine as its own."We unequivocally condemn the uncivil ways of the Central Council of Indian Medicine to arrogate itself to vivisect modern medicine and empower its practitioners with undeserving areas of practice.The latest move by the Centre is an addition to the host of decisions taken amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which shows an impending paradigm shift in healthcare from modern medicine to the traditional form. The IMA has been openly opposing such policy moves by the Centre, especially the plan to mix modern medicine with the traditional systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), in coming years, as envisaged by the Centre.