New Delhi: The plea before the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Centre to adopt the Indian Holistic Integrated Medicinal Approach, has now become a bone of contention to the practitioners of modern medicine, who are alleging it to be a step towards “mixopathy”.
While recently the Court granted six weeks of time to the Central Government to file its reply, doctors are concerned that integrating Modern Medicine with other branches of medicine including Homoeopathy and Ayurveda might prove detrimental to the public in general.
Raising the issue, Health Activist and past president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar has termed it a “Death Knell for modern medicine”. He has also urged all associations of modern medicine to act urgently on this issue and oppose this vehemently at all levels.
“Otherwise along with the death of Pure Modern Medicine, doctors of all associations will also have the same fate,” he said while referring to the decision of NMC to have a joint meeting of Ayush, Homeopathy, and Unani to decide upon integrating all systems of medicine.
Last year, Union Health Ministry wrote to NMC and referred to the fact that Section 50(1) of the NMC Act, 2019 stipulates that there shall be a joint sitting of the Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine at least once a year to enhance the interface between Homoeopathy, Indian System of Medicine and modern systems of medicine.
At that time, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had also requested NMC to convene a Joint sitting under the Section 50(1) to discuss the feasibility of integrating the Indian System of Medicine and the modern system of Medicine.
Following this, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had been filed in Delhi HC seeking direction to the Centre to adopt the Indian Holistic Integrated Medicinal Approach rather than Colonial Segregated way of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy in order to secure the right to health.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the plea sought direction to implement a Holistic Integrated Common Syllabus and Common Curriculum of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy for all medical colleges in order to secure the right to health.
The petitioner, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, practicing lawyer and BJP leader submitted that in spite of huge investment, the current health care system of India is not able to meet its standards and benefit the Indian population to fight against acute and chronic diseases.
The petitioner further submitted that the suggested holistic integrated medicinal approach will favor the financially deprived section of the Indian population as this approach will be pocket friendly with high reach and will be able to cover such a huge dense population of the country thus making the medical education available for one and all and to support evidence-based medicine, not any particular pathy. It will also help them to build a sense of responsibility to serve their society which cannot be possible in the case of modern medicine, he had added.
“There are 7.88 lakh Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors. Assuming 80 percent availability, it is estimated that 6.30 lakh AUH doctors may be available for service and considered together with allopathic doctors, it gives a doctor population ratio of around 1:1000,” stated the plea.
“In order to establish an integrated medicinal system, the Government has already made certain amendments to enable these provisions to become a part of health care policies. But so far adopted strategies are not sufficient to provide an adequate platform for an integrated medicinal approach. Therefore, it is mandatory to make appropriate amendments to legalize the status of the integrated medicinal system,” the plea mentioned.
Later, supporting the PIL, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Research Institute had approached the Delhi High Court praying to become impleaded as a party in the petition. Patanjali said it was supporting the prayers made in the main petition filed by advocate and petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
Referring to the PIL and the development of Patanjali becoming a party in the petition, Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar mentioned, “Ayush ministry has already submitted its say. Now Union government has been given 6 weeks to file its say. Surprisingly Patanjali has been allowed to become an intervenor in this case. All these developments are synchronized efforts not only to start Mixopathy but also legalise it.”
“MCI rules did not permit mixopathy while NMC section 50(1) officially permits it. Foreseeing this danger IMA had opposed NMC tooth & nail,” he added.
Section 50(1) of NMC Act, 2019 states, “There shall be a joint sitting of the Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine at least once a year, at such time and place as they mutually appoint, to enhance the interface between Homoeopathy, Indian Systems of Medicine, and modern systems of medicine.”
Commenting on the matter, Dr. Wankhedkar told Medical Dialogues, “Apart from all this, there is also news that Niti Aayog is also working to have an integrated medicine system. So, it looks like the Government is also supporting this. There is also news that in Haryana also, the Government has started Integrated Medicine system in all the medical colleges.”
“IMA never opposed any promotion of any traditional Indian system of medicine. But this move of Government is going to harm all the systems of medicine. In case of such integration, there will be no one practising pure Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy, or Modern Medicine. What kind of health services will such hybrid kind of doctors provide? Five and half years of MBBS is not enough for the doctors to learn everything. That is why they go for specialisation and super specialisation. If you integrate other systems of medicine also, how will they learn anything at all? They will be jack of all trades and master of none. This is nothing but mixopathy and IMA has been consistently opposing it. Indian Modern medicine doctors are recognized worldwide. So, such an integrated curriculum will not be recognized anywhere across the world. It is going to affect the health of the common man in the long term,” he further mentioned.
Further referring to the fact that the approach of treatment is different for systems of medicine, he added, “Every system of medicine has different principles of work. Homeopathy works in exactly opposite way of modern medicine. The way of treatment is also different for Ayurveda. If the principles are different, how can they be integrated?”
When asked about the next step by the doctors, he mentioned, “We are trying to be an intervenor of the case, so that our plea is also heard by the court. Once the court approves it, the Government will implement it completely. Also, one needs to question how come Patanjali became an intervenor in the plea?”
Delhi High Court has listed the matter for further hearing on July 25, 2023.
To view the recent court order, click on the link below: