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Viewpoint : Say No to Bridge courses


Viewpoint : Say No to Bridge courses

The concept of bridge courses as per the section 49 (4)of NMC Bill; “for the practitioners of Homeopathy and of Indian system of Medicine to enable them to prescribe such modern medicine at such level as may be prescribed,” is not based on scientific thinking.

The arguments against the bridge courses are as under:

The integration or mixing of different systems of treatment or pathies is unscientific.

Each system has its unique theories of causation, method of diagnosis and principles of treatment of a specific ailment.

How shall we be able to integrate the Tridosa theory (Vat, Pitta, and Kaph) of Ayurveda with the Antimicrobial concept? Or the Karmic theory of causation of diseases with Anticonvulsive drug therapy?

Regarding the Homeopathy, its principle that substances have a memory or dilution of a material or drug; leads to increase in potency; is contradictory to scientific studies of today.

“similar treat similar “, is diagonally opposite to rationale of antidotes.The Homeopathy students are taught more than two dozen disadvantages and shortcomings of Allopathy.

Those trained in this system shall have to first unlearn,  a lot about their system; before they can be initiated into a bridge course e.g.” The couples who use contraceptives are bound to suffer from the chronic ailments.”

Prescribing drugs of two pathys to one patient simultaneously; may lead to unknown undesirable complications.

Bridge courses of short duration, would produce ‘half baked’ doctors.

And thus it would pave the way for legalising quackery.

On one hand, M.D.in General Medicine is punished for claiming to be a cardiologist or diabetologist. On the other hand, the government is proposing to introduce,  twice a week for six months or still shorter duration courses and trying to present them as a replacement; instead of regular M.B.B.S. doctors.

What a paradox!

The compartmentalization in medical science has gone to the extent that we now debate as to whether it is legal for a  General Surgeon to perform Ceaserian Section or not? Should head injury patients be taken care of by General Surgeons or only by Neuro surgeons? Then how can proposal for bridge courses be justified? It is a retrograde move.

The level or extent of prescription by the so-called integrated pathy doctors can never be defined in practice; as per the statement in NMC Bill  ( vide supra).

The difference in the theoretical concepts and their unsupervised, unregulated practical application is well known to those;  who practice a medical profession in the field.  With a ‘magic wand’ of modern medicine (authorised by a bridge course) including the antibiotics, steroids and painkillers; who would like to restrict to the practice of traditional pathy.

What will be the status of the antimicrobial resistance and magnitude of the steroid related complications due to their blunderbuss use, is not difficult to anticipate for those who encounter such complications in a day to day practice; even now, with all the so-called legal restrictions in place.

 “It is astonishing that with how little reading a doctor can practice Medicine, but it is not astonishing how badly he may do it ”  said William Osler, long ago.

We should not forget the ground realities of our socio-economic and professional work milieu in the name of integration.

The perceived need for bridge courses also implies that the government has realised that these pathies can’t be used as a standalone system,  be it, Ayurveda or Homeopathy.

A good number of those trained in these pathies don’t have confidence in the abilities of these.  The Hon.Prime Minister of India in his speech on October 17, 2017 said, “People educated in Ayurveda must have full faith in Ayurveda. ” (Reference 1).

So far Homeopathy is concerned there is a demand to ban it in U.K. in N.H.S and in other countries also. (Reference no.2).

And on the contrary government of India is planning to integrate them with an internationally recognised system. And this shall amount of lowering the status of the Modern system of medicine. Moreover, these doctors will be allowed to practice Allopathic system; without clearing any Licentiate Examination.

Why have two different standards for practitioners of the same system? Why let loose an army of ill-trained doctors on innocent rural masses, in the guise of a shortage of doctors? How can any rule, restrict their presence in the rural areas only? They would soon make their presence felt in the slums and middle-class urban localities as well.

The vote bank politics may overpower all logical consideration to raise the standards of public health care.

Bridge courses are a desperate move to bridge the gap between availability and demand of M.B.B.S.doctors.

The long-term solution lies in strengthening the rural infrastructure at PHCs and CHCs. And providing incentives to young M.B.B.S. doctors to work, under difficult circumstances.

The junior resident doctors too can be posted for a shorter duration as a junior specialist, say for three months; provided there is enough equipment and paramedics to support them; apart from clean drinking water and regular supply of electricity; the basic human needs.

Bridge courses would be a death blow to the Alternative system of medicine and degradation of Allopathic modern system. Thus, effectively ‘killing’ the proverbial, ‘Two birds with one stone’; the NMC Bill section 49 (4) being the culprit. Mixopathy shall do NO good to any pathy.

It is high time that all intellectuals ought to think and debate on the implications of such a vital policy. And urge the government of India to delete the concept of bridge courses from National Medical Commission Bill.

The viewpoint is given by Dr A P Setia, M.S. General Surgeon, Setia Hospital, Hisar and Patron IMA Haryana


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the author/agency in his/her private capacity and do not represent the views of Medical Dialogues.


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43 comment(s) on Viewpoint : Say No to Bridge courses

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  1. user
    Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital May 16, 2018, 9:09 am
  2. user
    Ashwini Hospital March 15, 2018, 12:43 pm

    The government has failed to understand the reasons behind the unwillingness of doctors to go to rural areas. Hence they are forcing all and sundry to do the same in the name of bonds.

    This bond is nothing but enslavement of talented persons. Does it think that by forcing doctors to go to the rural areas, they will work with their full mind in it? Or full dedication to their job?

    Facilities for caring are nonexistent, drugs are always in short supply, doctors offer become victims of local politics, general attitude of might is right, whereas what a doctor needs is peace of mind, full confidence of people whom he is serving.

    All these are lacking, plus the ever hanging sword of transfers on whims of local and district politics makes most of the doctors uninterested in taking up jobs in rural areas.

  3. Sir,

    The initiative of WB govt to appoint 10000 Nursing staff as community nursing officer with adequate training is very useful for our healthcare system.Services of dentists can also be utilised as community health officer.Oral cancer has become a serious issue.If dentists are recruited as community health officer they can very well tackle the issues of oral health care & also general health as dentists are as such doctors with adequate training on all allopathic medicines,surgery & anesthesia.The step of WB govt is certainly praise worthy.All state govts should analyse the step of WB govt & initiate measures which will promote health care in their states.IMA should also come forward with constructive suggestions & guide state govts & central govt to pursue such good steps.

  4. I agree with Dr. Sethia.. People who want bridge course are ashamed of their respective fields. If they practice their own field sincerely they can help much more. Bridge course is a lazy method to get into a different course [superior course as they feel]. How can a bridge course of few months will make them competent when a student requires 5.5 yrs of rigorous MBBS training. By bridge course, u urself are proving that ur field is not good. Government can appoint students of private medical colleges in rural service as they are also responsible for health of society. They can increase the salaries of doctors and provide good amenities to attract the doctors in rural sectors. If AYUSH doctors feel that that allopathy doctors are money making then why r u attracted toward this field.

  5. the truth is only money…..no issue of public health …..the only motto of every pathy doctor is money making….that\’s y u r demanding much more amount for working in rural areas…….u need something which attract u…pain of people in rural area is not enough to attract u….

  6. To dr.pravin and dr.setia sir.
    Read below article

    CNN-News18 Investigation Reveals Homeopathic, Ayurvedic Doctors Manning ICUs in Top Private Hospitals – https://www.news18.com/news/india/cnn-news18-investigation-reveals-homeopathic-ayurvedic-doctors-manning-icus-in-top-private-hospitals-1689297.html

    Agar kuch Kara chahte ho aplog to apke colligue Ko bolo Ayush dr.s Ko recruit na kare….sare nursing home and hospital me MBBS hi rakhe …Aisa rules banao strictly…
    Apko bridge course ke upar comment karke kuch nahi Milega..society ka Bhala chahte ho to ye law tayar karo…No AYUSH DRS SHOULD BE RECRUITED IN ALLOPATHIC HOSPITAL…HAI HIMMAT AAP LOGO ME..
    Ayush doctors jo achha Kam kar rahe he wo ap nahi bataoge…yes allopathic doctors are money making mind..loot chalu he sare hospitals me all over India..

    Ayush doctors Ko basic drugs 30 to 40 drugs ka training deke PHC level pe Kam karwane me kya problem he …

    Aplog Bolte ho Ayush doctors and jab apke hospital me rakhne ka time ata he to Ayush Ko hi recruit karte ho…

    HIMMAT he to MCI ke sare doctors Ko circular pas karo no Ayush doctor recruitment and strict law banao..

    Ye to karne nahi hoga aplog se bada bada lecture doge…
    There are few states where allopathy allowed after passing bridge course…so where is the problem???

    Ayush doctor bridge course ke bad specialist nahi banne wale he …they just treat minor ailment and preventive medicine….then why u people are creating problem….
    Isse employment badega and healthcare sector me help hoga..

  7. why government is not doing anything for foreign medical graduates of India. why the govt can\’t give training for them and appoint in rural areas ? ?????. They are also citizens of this country having vote rights.


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