Srinagar, (GK): In blatant violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) norms the doctors possessing degrees in Unani, Ayurvedic or Homeopathic system of medicines are practicing the Allopathic system in the hospitals of the valley at the cost of the heath of gullible patients. This illegal practice by the doctors is going on mostly in the hospitals of rural areas where MBBS doctors allegedly refuse to go.
Reports and official sources said that these doctors have been indulging in this practice in almost all the Sub District Hospitals (SDHs) and Primary Health Centers (PHCs) of rural areas at the cost of the lives of the patients.
“At some places BUMS and ISM doctors are running the entire hospital including the emergency services,” sources said.
As per official figures, there are around 439 ISM doctors working in PHCs, 479 in dispensaries and around 159 ISM doctors are working as Assistant Surgeons in various hospitals across JK.
“The government has appointed the doctors possessing degrees in other systems of medicine in rural areas to overcome the staff shortage as doctors holding MBBS degrees refuse to serve there,” a senior official of the Health Department told Greater Kashmir.
He said that due to the non-availability of Ayurvedic or Unani medicines in the rural markets these doctors prescribe the allopathic medicines to the patients. “The ISM doctors know little about the formula, mode of action and dosage of the allopathic medicines so prescribing the same may prove disastrous for any patient any time,” said a group of doctors wishing anonymity.
“The basic concept of Indian Systems is entirely different from allopathic treatment. In case of Homoeopathy, treatment is provided by the likes. These two methods, ISM and Homoeopathy, do not have the concept of bacteria or virus or fungi which is the fundamental disease causing organism dealt with by the modern system,” they added.
A doctor cited an example of a five year old kid who had been suggested two injections of gentamycin (80 mg) a day by a BUMS doctor in a hospital in north Kashmir.
“Even more than 50 mgs of gentamycin to an adult a day can prove fatal to him but knowing little about the dosage of the drug the doctor had suggested 120 mgs of the injectable to a little kid a day. Had not the parents of the child met me on way before following the prescription of the doctor their child would have been in deep trouble,” the doctor said.
“A doctor holding degree in one medical system cannot practice the other system of medicine as it is an offence. But in Kashmir authorities can replace the carpenter with a mason if it saves their skin,” said a doctor.
Under a centrally sponsored scheme to popularize the India System of Medicine (ISM), the center government has earmarked a separate financial assistance for developing AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy) hospitals and dispensaries in almost all the states including Jammu Kashmir.
And under NRHM, AYUSH doctors and facilities are being co-located in PHCs, Community Health Centers (CHCs) and district hospitals.
“Total functional integration between the AYUSH dispensaries/hospitals and the health care facilities under the allopathic system is also envisaged so that the entire spectrum of treatments is made available to the public,” the scheme profile reads
However, the scheme has been hijacked by the casual approach of the authorities handling the scheme, sources said.
When contacted, the Director, Indian System of Medicine in J&K, Dr Abdul Kabir Dar admitted the practical problem of cross practice. “We have issued official circulars against the practice and have taken action in many cases,” he said.