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Saturday, 14 July 2012

AYUSH doctors to soon prescribe allopathic drugs in Maharastra

The state government on Friday said that ayurvedahomeopathy and unani practitioners would soon be able to legally prescribe allopathic medicines in Maharashtra provided they completed a one-year course in pharmacology. 
Dr Vijay Kumar Gavit, minister for medical education, told the assembly that the course material was ready and by August the state would issue an ordinance for these doctors to do the course and clear an exam. If they pass, they can prescribe allopathic medicines. 
The minister said in a written reply that the decision to introduce the one-year pharmacology course was made on the advice of the attorney general, who suggested that it could be done by amending the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961. But when it was referred to the state law and judiciary department, it pointed out that a mere amendment to the Act will be of no use as under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, the assent of the Medical Council of India (MCI) is mandatory. 
But a senior official told  that the government does not need an approval from the Medical Council of India to start a "certificate course" as the state has the requisite powers under the concurrent list. "Only a degree or a diploma course needs a mandatory approval from the MCI," the official said. 
The matter came up before the House during a calling attention motion on police harassment faced by doctors who provide alternative treatment, particularly in rural Maharashtra. It was raised by Vijay Wadettiwar, who said that in the absence of allopathic doctors, people had to go to doctors from other streams but they were not allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines. "When the state has the power to allow these doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines, why does it hesitate to do so?" 
Gavit said it was true that there was a paucity of allopathic doctors in rural areas and the association of homeopathy doctors had requested that homeopaths should be allowed to prescribe allopathy medicines. 
"The government has set up a committee to consider this issue and is awaiting the report," he said, adding that an earlier committee had recommended that if the government were to include pharmacology as a subject for the doctors from other streams, then they could prescribe allopathic medicines.


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