As 2017 drew to a close, my eyes fell upon an Indian Express article which said that the government is ushering in a new bill which aims to allow ayurvedic doctors to practice allopathic medicine after a bridging course.
The moot question is whether it is going to prove beneficial or detrimental like many other schemes by the present dispensation. Let’s have a closer look.
It’s been reported that the government has cut down on national health funding. But the government has shown a great interest in rejuvenating ayurvedic treatments and education, at least theoretically. Our own Baba Ramdev came up with a state of the art ayurvedic research centre and the Prime Minister inaugurated an apex ayurvedic institute, designed on the lines of AIIMS, in the national capital. It seemed like the government wanted to bring back the lost glory of ayurvedic medicine. But now, we learn that ayurvedic practitioners will be allowed to practice allopathic medicines?
Will this really end the problems of rural India? I certainly don’t think so. If you ask me, this is going to open a Pandora’s box. The government will be at a loss to prevent the problems emanating from the bill if it gets passed. In my opinion, this is not the way to come up with an answer to western allopathic medicine. This only confirms that the government is just looking to bridge certain gaps and excellence is not what the government aims for. This, coupled with the recent rise in holding allopathic doctors responsible for all eventualities, has the potential to wreak havoc on our health system which is already quite debilitated, no matter how much we want to glorify it by calling it ‘divyang’.
The upbeat mood of ayurveda advocates can be sensed easily. They think that they may be at par with the so-called modern practitioners of medicine. I don’t know how the quality of treatment would be regulated, but it gives me shudders to think of the plight of people in rural areas who could be subjected to this experiment.
And last but not the least, I think ayurveda will be limited to ‘dadi ma’s nuskha’. The last hope of ayurveda getting its due seems to be fading with the government bringing this bill to the parliament. Our esteemed ayurveda advocates must have never imagined this unique way of promoting their practice.
Allopathic medicine and ayurvedic medicines are two distinct streams and the government could have done its best to add evidence-based ayurvedic practices as our indigenous answer to western medicine. Instead, I find mediocrity creeping into all aspects of life and government mechanisms as well. This is not the middle path to achieving our goals. Is this really the best way to realise our dreams about the nation?