The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Ministry of Ayush, Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and National Medical Commission and sought their responses regarding the Indian Medical Association plea challenging regulations seeking to permit PG Ayurveda qualified persons to practice modern surgeries. The three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian issued notice returnable in 4 weeks and asked the parties to file their replies and affidavits.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, who represented the IMA before the apex court, said that it will create havoc if Ayurvedic doctors are allowed to do surgeries without any training. Responding to the IMA, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that it is an overpitched concern for something that has been going on for a long time.
The plea filed by the Indian Medical Association has challenged the legality and validity of the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations 2016 as amended by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations 2016 as amended by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations 2020. IMA has stated in the plea that the impugned Regulations have been promulgated by the Central Council of Indian Medicine, and are beyond the power and jurisdiction of the CCIM. By issuing the impugned regulations, the CCIM has transgressed the boundaries of the Medicine Central Council Act 1970 enactment under which it has been created. The 1970 Act is in relation to the form of “Indian Medicine”, distinct from the field of Modern Medicine. The plea has stated that in addition to being contrary to the legislative policy declared by the Parliament the impugned Regulations, are also manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable, result in serious affront and prejudice to the constitutional and fundamental rights of the citizens of this country to receive proper and effective medical care and treatment. The IMA added that the regulations also cause serious prejudice to the rights of millions of medical doctors across the country who have toiled hard and spent years of their life undergoing training for attaining adequate exposure, experience and qualifications for performing surgeries under the modern scientific system of medicine.
Earlier the government had notified that “the PG scholar of Shalya (general surgery) and Shalakya (diseases of ear, nose, throat, ENT, eye, head, oro-dentistry) shall be practically trained to acquaint with as well as independently perform the following activities so that after completion of his/her PG degree, he/she is able to perform the procedures independently.”
AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik had said that Ayurvedic doctors undergo internship for one year and become trained surgeons after completing their studies. He had also said that the decision to allow Ayurvedic doctors to perform surgeries is aimed at supporting the practice of allopathy and not as a competition.