'Public health at risk': Telangana IMA writes to health minister, opposes CPCH for Ayurveda practitioners

In a letter to Health minister Harish Rao, the Telangana chapter of IMA said the bridge course will put public health at greater risk.

Hyderabad: Telangana chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly objected to the introduction of modern medicine bridge courses for mid-level Ayurveda practitioners.

In a letter to Health minister Harish Rao, the Telangana chapter of IMA said the bridge course will put public health at greater risk.

"In view of the Central Government and State Government coming up with a policy of Mid Level Health Provider( MLHP) being implemented, the Indian Medical Association strongly objects to the way both State & Central Governments are trying to come up with policies of conducting Bridge Courses leading to Mixopathy. There cannot be stop-gap health policies that put Public Health at risk. The Indian Medical Association Telangana State is represented by its President and Doctors," IMA wrote.

What are the bridge courses?

In November 18 order, the state government authorized the health department to run the Certificate Programme in Community Health (CPCH). The classes commenced on November 23.

The CPCH consists of theory and practice for mid-level health providers with a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and will be provided by Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRUHS).

During this course, BAMS practitioners will learn about public health and epidemiology, nutrition, communicable Diseases, non-communicable Diseases, management of common medical conditions and emergencies, communication management and supervision, maternal, reproductive, adolescent health, newborn and child health care, dental care, eye care & ENT, mental health, and other topics.

Doctors react

Speaking to Newsmeter, Dr. Jhangir, vice-President of the Health Reforms Doctors Association, said this will lead to confusion and harm common people. "MBBS is a five and half year course. How can one teach the entire thing in six months?" he asked.

Dr. Jhangir, a urologist, said those who use ayurvedic drugs that lack peer-reviewed scientific support risk kidney problems. "So many young people are suffering from Acute kidney failure nowadays due to these medicines," he said.

Health Reforms Doctors Association has been filing complaints against people practicing allopathy medicine without any certification. Dr. Jhangir said: "With this bridge course, they will be legalized without proper training." "When these people with bare minimum training are placed at community health centers, it is the poor and underprivileged who suffer. That is why we are against this, for public health," he added.

Instead of assimilating BAMS graduates, Dr. Sanjiv Singh Yadav, Honorary Secretary of IMA-AMS, said it would be preferable to loosen the rules for medical students returning from other countries. "Why can't they relax the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination? It is set in a way that students don't qualify," he said

"They are formally trained from institutions recognized by the National Medical Council," Dr. Sanjiv added.

Dr. B.N. Rao, State president of IMA, reiterated this bridge course is not enough to practice modern medicine.

Telangana chapter of IMA appealed to the government to maintain quality health care by not encouraging 'Mixopathy' and bridge courses. It also requested that the government consider offering higher salaries to all qualified allopathic doctors with a minimum salary of Rs 1 lakh so that all unemployed qualified doctors are absorbed/utilized.

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