The Kerala High Court has struck down a recent Kerala government order exempting self-learnt homoeopathic practitioners of Malabar region in the state from acquiring recognized qualification and registration for practising homoeopathy.
Hearing a petition filed by the Institution of Homoeopath Kerala (IHK), an organization of working homoeopathic doctors, the court observed that only qualified doctors of homeopathy can practice the system in Malabar area.
On February 21 this year, the government of Kerala had issued an order exempting self-learnt homeopathy practitioners and traditional healers of Malabar region in the state from acquiring recognized qualification and registration for practising homeopathy and Ayurveda system. Objecting this order, the IHK had moved the court for freezing the order.
The petitioners informed the court that the government order has violated the provisions of the Homeopathic Central Council Act, 1974 which is binding on all practitioners of homeopathic medicine across the country. They also appraised the court that the order was in violation of section 38 of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act 1953 as, currently, there was sufficient number of qualified practitioners of homoeopathy in northern Kerala.
The order said that the unqualified and self-learnt people hailing from traditional healers’ family of Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod districts, who were in the practising field for a continuous period of 20 years prior to 01-01-2011, could continue their practice in the concerned system by virtue of their hereditary. Soon after the order was issued by the government, a joint meeting of the Travancore – Cochin Medical Councils (councils of modern medicine, Indian system of medicines and homeopathic medicine) has passed a resolution against the government’s decision to show green signal to the fake healers.
According to IHK, the number of fake homeopathic practitioners is five times higher than that of the qualified doctors in the field. The IHK said that on June 4, 2009, Kerala government had brought out a government order favoring fake practitioners who had entered in the field before 1987, totally degrading the Central Council of Homeopathy Act 1973. But due to the united and strong agitation by the registered homoeopaths, the government froze the order and appointed a committee to submit a report regarding registration and recognition for homoeopathy practice. That committee’s report stated that registration should not be given to unqualified persons as the Central Council Act was in force in Kerala already. The CCH Act was implemented in Kerala in 1974 and is applicable to all states of India.
Dr Sreevals Menon, convener of All Kerala Homeopathic Coordination Council (AKHCC), a movement of qualified homeopathic practitioners, students, teachers and medical officers of homeopathy system, said his organization will also move the court with the same prayer after the council’s general body meeting which is slated for 20th of this month in Kochi.
In Kerala there are five Homoeopathic Medical Colleges which offer degree and post graduate courses in homeopathy. Every year, nearly 250 graduates and 100 post graduates are passed out of these institutions.
The decision of the government allowing the traditional healers of the region to practice Ayurveda is against the provisions of the Central Council of Indian Medicine Act 1970, said Dr D Ramanathan, an executive committee member of Central Council of Indian Medicine.