The proposal put by Niti Ayog must be considered from Broad perspective, as a part of the Medical Reforms to enable Health Care Delivery system reach maximum population.
The fact is that there is a wide disparity in the available health care system. In Metros, there are abundant Super Specialty facilities available, and it is difficult to find General Practitioners, but the rural population, even about 50 Km away from Metro Cities does not have access to basic medical facilities. Over the years, the rapid development in Diagnostic Facilities have grown to the extent that the physicians, specially become dependent on them to the extent, that the Laboratory has now overtaken the Clinical Medicine. The fear in the minds of the Doctors over the sword of Consumer Protection Act has gone to the extent that nearly 90% of the laboratory investigations done are not actually required. It does help the Medical Industry, but has not helped the patients and as a result the cost of medical expenses has increased tremendously, without much benefit to the consumer/patient. Also, because of the economic considerations, as well as the infrastructure problems, the MBBS doctors are not willing to go to the rural areas.
It is perhaps, this factor that has led the Niti Ayog, to incorporate the proposal of the Bridge Course, for AYUSH Practitioners, to train them in allopathic pharmacology to some extent, so that they could be utilized to provide health care to the remotest areas. Their feeling is that they would be able to equip the primary care facilities better with such approach.
WILL IT HELP? / TO WHOM? / WOULD IT HARM? / WHERE WOULD IT DO SO?
This is the contentious proposal, and is being widely discussed in the Social Media, leading to accusations and counter-accusations, in very bad taste at times. I, being a Homoeopathic Physician, with over 50 years of professional experience can say with confidence that our medicines are well equipped to cover number of problems, and in case homoeopaths are utilized for the purpose, the load on Tertiary care, or Specialties Hospitals would definitely be reduced to a great extent.
In case, the Homoeopaths, especially the young entrants, if encouraged to use allopathic medicines, are likely to be drifted away from their own stream. This would be due to their lesser exposure in practice of their own stream. Their study of Material Medica, and its application in patients is likely to be jeopardize with this approach. The patients would not benefit, as the short cuts would do more harm than good. The Beneficiary would be the allopathic pharmaceutical industry, whose turn over shall increase many fold. Thus, their medical knowledge would be more abused than put to beneficial use.
LESSONS FROM HISTORY
“THOSE WHO FAIL TO READ HISTORY ARE DESTINED TO SUFFER THE REPETITION OF MISTAKES” – Page 1, Park’s Text Book of Preventive and Social Medicine, 20th Edition, 2009.
In the early Sixties, before the establishments of Boards of Homoeopathic System of Medicine in different states, there used to be a course titled B.I.M.S. The entrants to this course used to be those who could not get admission to M.B.B.S. course, and this course was titled as Bachelor of Integrated System of Medicine. In actual practice, the students passing B.I.M.S. used to practice allopathy, which resulted more of quackery and decline of Ayurveda, or Unani System of Medicine. Later on, these courses were changed to B.A.M.S., and B.U.M.S.
Homoeopathic System of Medicine is based on “SAM CHIKITSA”, i.e. Treatment by Similars, as mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic Literature, which relates to 5000 years, B.C., and discovered by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann of Germany, in the year 1790 A.D. This system of medicine has not been polluted by what happened in case of B.I.M.S., and the students coming out of the Homoeopathic Institutions, by & large have not been inflicted by such a pollution. It is very important that the Bridge course, does not infiltrate the purity of this system of medicine, and becoming the starting point in the death nail towards elimination of Homoeopathy.
It is equally important to learn the lessons from the history, relating to Rise, Decline, and gradual Revival of Homoeopathy in different countries.
SOLUTION LIES ONLY IN A RATIONAL, AND BROAD BASED APROACH TOWARDS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
It is important to look at the long-term solutions, without disturbing the fundamentals of the different systems of medicine. We should be given equal access to the diagnostic facilities, and other infrastructure for the handling of the acute conditions. The Bridge course for AYUSH SYSTEMS should focus on handling of the emergencies, with the medicines belonging to their own systems, and save time till the patient is shifted to a specialized care in a facility equipped for that condition. The various systems of medicine have to be provided equal opportunities, and let the masses choose themselves the system which gives them better health care.
AS ALREADY STATED ABOVE, THE USE OF ALLOPATHIC MEDICINES BY THE DOCTORS BELONGING TO THE OTHER SYSTEMS MUST NOT BE PERMITTED.