Ayush Ministry issues clarification on order allowing Ayurveda PG students to practice surgery
New Delhi: In view of a stir by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) over the issuance of an order by the Government, allowing Ayurveda PG students to practice a variety of surgeries, the Ministry of Ayush has recently clarified with respect to the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations, 2020.
The AYUSH clarification came after the Indian Medical Association on Saturday said it would resist any form of mixing of different forms of medicine. IMA objected to the use of modern medical names of surgical procedures as used in the notification.
"IMA exhorts the CCIM to develop their own surgical disciplines from their own ancient texts and not claim the surgical disciplines of modern medicine as its own. They have no right to the technical terms, techniques, and procedures of modern medicine," the association said in its statement.
However, the AYUSH ministry, in response to the same, made it clear that there would be no mixing of modern medical practices with the ancient Ayurvedic system, and postgraduate Ayurveda students will restrict themselves to 58 types of surgical procedures as notified by the Central Council of Indian Medicine. CCIM is the statutory body that regulates the Indian Medical systems of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Unani.
In its clarification, the Ayush Ministry said, "It has come to the notice of the Ministry of AYUSH that some misreported and incorrectly interpreted versions of the above notification have surfaced in some media platforms, leading to misinformation about the nature and purpose of the said notification."
"To lay to rest the apprehensions arising out of such incorrect interpretations, the Ministry is now issuing the following clarifications answering the questions that have been raised in this matter," its notification added. It specifically elaborated on-
1. What does the notification called the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations, 2020 deal with?
The notification relates to the Shalya and Shalakya streams of Post Graduate Education in Ayurveda. The notification specifies (in clearer terms than the earlier notification on the subject)a total of 58 surgical procedures that PG scholars of these streams (cumulatively) need to be practically trained inso as to enable them to independently perform the said activities after completion of their PG Degree. The notification is specific to these specified surgical procedures and does not allow Shalya and Shalakya Post Graduates to take up any other types of surgery.
2. Does the said notification signify a policy shift in the matter of practice of surgical procedures by practitioners of Ayurveda?
No, this notification is a clarification of the relevant provisions in the previously existing regulations of 2016. Since beginning, Shalya and Shalakya are independent Departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures. While the notification of 2016 stipulated that the students shall undergo training of investigative procedures, techniques and surgical performance of procedures and management in the respective specialty, the details of these techniques, procedures and surgical performance were laid down in the syllabus of respective PG courses issued by CCIM, and not the regulation per se. The present clarification was issued in over-all public interest by CCIM by bringing the said details into the regulation. Hence this does not signify any policy shift.
3. Why is there a controversy around the use of modern terminology in the said notification?
The Ministry has not received any comments or objections about the use of modern terminology in the said notification, and is hence not aware of any such controversy. It is, however, clarified that all scientific advances including standardized terminologies are inheritances of the entire mankind. No individual or group has monopoly over these terminologies. The modern terminologies in the field of medicine, are not modern from a temporal perspective, but are derived substantially from ancient languages like Greek, Latin and even Sanskrit, and later languages like Arabic. Evolution of terminologies is a dynamic and inclusive process. Modern medical terms and terminology facilitates effective communication and correspondence not just among physicians, but also to other stake-holders including the public. In the instant notification, modern terms are adopted as per requirement to ensure that the same is understood widely in the medical profession, in the stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT etc., as well as by the members of the public.
4. Does the use of modern terminology in the said notification amount to "mixing" of Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine?
Not at all. The purpose of all modern scientific terminology is to facilitate effective communication and correspondence among the different stake-holders. The stake-holders of the instant notification include not just the Ayurveda practitioners but also professionals of other stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT, insurance etc., as well as the members of the public. Hence the use of modern terminology was required. The question of "mixing" of Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine does not arise here as CCIM is deeply committed to maintaining the authenticity of Indian systems of medicine, and is against any such "mixing".