Supreme Court issues notice on PIL challenging integration of alternative medicine with allopathy

Our Bureau, MumbaiThursday, September 22, 2022, 17:15 Hrs  [IST]

A division bench of the Supreme Court has issued notice on a writ petition filed by the Association of Medical Consultants, Mumbai challenging the constitutionality of specific provisions of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 as well the 2020 amendment to Regulation 10(9) of the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulation, 2016.
The ‘One Nation One Health System’ formulated by the Union government is aimed at addressing the critical issue of dearth of doctors in the country’s medical system. However, according to the Association of Medical Consultants, (Mumbai), authorising practitioners of alternative medicine to hold office as surgeons and practice modern medicine could bear serious repercussions on public health.
Dr Nilima Vaidya Bhamare, president, Association of Medical Consultants, Mumbai said, “In a purported attempt to promote the practice of integrating alternative medicine with modern medicine to fortify the healthcare system in India, in order to reach out to the poor, we cannot put the lives of the public in jeopardy. The practice of modern medicine is a result of extensive research and testing, new inventions, technological advancements, combined with years of medical & surgical training to ensure positive patient outcomes and avoid complications and threats to human life. Modern medicine practice goes through rigorous theoretical and practical training, to be able to hold office in the capacity of surgeon or modern medicine practitioner. It cannot be practiced with inadequate qualification, lesser years of experience and limited knowledge.  There is no shortcut to success and never should be. The Right to Health and good quality treatment is a fundamental right of all citizens, irrespective of economic status. This is what we should be striving for each day and through this petition, we aim to do exactly that. In Advocate Sunil Fernandes we have found a capable champion for our cause & we wish him all the very best for fighting the case for us, on behalf of AMC, Mumbai."
Dr Sudhir Naik, chairman of Medico-Legal cell and past president, Association of Medical Consultants, Mumbai who filed the present Writ Petition in public interest said, “The obliteration of the time-tested distinction between alternative medicine and allopathy, based on intelligible, rationale, reasonable and scientific criteria will lead to catastrophic consequences for medical health and infrastructure. Public health and welfare are of paramount importance. Equitable and universal health care to be made affordable and accessible to all is the ultimate goal but at what cost? Practicing medicine without adequate qualifications and experience falls under ‘Unfair Trade Practice’ and we as an association are working together to fight this cause.”
“We have approached the apex court petitioning for certain provisions of the aforesaid Acts and regulations to be struck down. The court has issued notice on our PIL and tagged our PIL with the PIL filed by IMA. The next date in IMA writ is November 4 and our case will be listed along with it,” said Dr Naik.