Homeopathy :: An opportunity or a threat to homeopathy ?
Courtesy : Dr. Anil Singhal
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly is considering an option to allow homeopathic doctors to practice allopathy in the state. Replying to a calling attention notice on the issue of demand of homeopathic doctors to practice allopathy, state Medical Education Minister Vijay Kumar Gavit said “It is not possible legally to allow medicos to practice a medicine which they have not studied. Homeopathy doctors wishing to practice allopathy should study pharmacology. There should be a course of one year and then they will be allowed to practice allopathy”. Accordingly, Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961 will be amended. He said the Homeopathy Council (CCH) in Delhi has been requested to include the subject ofpharmacology in the homeopathy curriculum.
As there is a shortage of allopathic doctors in rural areas, Govt. thinks with this amendment, homeopathic doctors may also prescribe allopathic medicines. This is true that both allopathy and homeopathy have same syllabus until last semester apart from pharmacology in allopathic and materia medica in homeopathic medical colleges.
Pharmacology deals with the drugs, its indications, beneficial and side effects, but homeopathic doctors are not trained in prescribing and follow-ups of patients with allopathic medicines. They have to learn applied part of it in different disease conditions in patients. Otherwise, they would be responsible for events of medical negligence.
Later, this might be proven to be a (legal) form of quackery because of this fundamentally wrong teachings in homeopathic colleges, and any agency (like Flexner Report in 1910 in USA) may recommend the closure of homeopathic medical colleges due to (in)appropriate production of (un)educated and (ill)trained medical practitioners (or quacks). This would be an end to homeopathy in India like it happened in US in the first part of the 20th century.
Also, a pertinent question is aroused — why this special maneuver is envisioned?
- Are they putting a question to efficacy of homeopathy?
- Have they accepted their inability to retain allopathic doctors in villages? or
- Is this a trap (by allopaths/pharmaceutical companies) to make an end to this established system of therapeutics.
In 2011, AYUSH had underlined the fact that Maharashtra is home to 15.78% AYUSH doctors, highest in the country. That has 14.09% non-allopathic practitioners. 184 homeopathic colleges across the country, the Maharashtra state has 43 colleges. With the new option, many students would opt for alternative medicine thinking of it as a backdoor entry to practice allopathy. This would be a disastrous situation to homeopathy. Can we control this mindset?
I believe, this is the time to do a swot analysis of this option, and in this aspect we have talked to some eminent persons in this field:
Dr. Kamal Puri – Homeopathic Consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, says “Homeopaths should practice homeopathy, allopaths should practice allopathy. We are providing our homeopathic services in a well-known hospital in the capital seeing all kinds of cases in the OPDs, and we don’t see why a homeopath should prescribe allopathy medicine. Even many allopathy doctors themselves prefer homeopathy in certain chronic cases.”
Dr. Aditya Kaushik – Member, Delhi Board of Homeopathic System of Medicine, says “Govt. is discussing and exploring certain options so that any doctor practicing in rural areas can manage any life-threatening situation in a patient in a way that the patient should reach to a hospital set-up. This would help all the patients in emergency or trauma conditions. But, allopathy should not be practiced regularly. This is the time we should integrate all best. Similarly, allopaths can have special qualification in homeopathy like courses run by RLHH, UK.”
Dr. Pankaj Datta – Principal, Inderprastha Dental College, Gaziabad, who is a great believer in homeopathy, says “Homeopathy is a specialized branch of medicine. Today, we see a lot of systemic diseases in patients, so by adding pharmacology in the curriculum, a homeopathic doctor would be able to understand the symptoms properly in a patient who might be already on some allopathic medicines – its interactions, symptoms induced by medications, etc. Every system has its own limitation, a homeopathic doctor would be better equipped to manage patients with homeopathic medicines.”
Well, if we represent our best intentions for homeopathy correctly, we can establish this therapeutic science more firmly in this 21st Century.