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Siddha

ISMGA urges TN govt to formalise state Siddha Medical Council by holding elections

Chennai (PB): Seeking immediate intervention of the state government for the conduct of election to the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council and urging it to constitute the Council formally, the Indian Siddha Medical Graduates Association (ISMGA) has decided to approach once again the health ministry and the state Ayush department with a mass memorandum.

The memorandum which is in the form of a reminder to the earlier ones, will request the government to speed up the proceedings of setting up the Council, which has not been properly constituted in Tamil Nadu ever since the state Act was passed, said Dr Selvin Innocent Das, president of ISMGA.

He said a Council with an In-charge Registrar is functioning from 1998, but not properly formed it as per the Act. According to him, all the demands of Siddha community with regard to the formation of the Council are not being met or considered by the concerned authority. “There are Medical Council, Pharmacy Council, Nursing Council and Homoeopathy Council. Unani, Ayurveda and Naturopathy are taken care of by the Board of Indian Medicine. But for Siddha, which has a valuable tradition in Tamil Nadu, has no Council. It is quite a strange thing,” Dr Selvin said.

As per the Government of India instructions, the Government of Tamil Nadu introduced an Act ‘Tamil Nadu Siddha System of Medicine (Development and Registration of Practitioners) Act, 1997′, which came into effect on 29.9.1997. Following it, the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council was formed on 12..2.1998 under an adhoc committee with an In-charge Registrar and the state health secretary as ex-officio member. The same situation has been continuing since then despite repeated requests by Siddha fraternity. “We demand for election to the Council and constitute it formally,” the president of ISMGA told Pharmabiz over telephone from Kanyakumari.

As per the Act, the Council is a body of 23 members which comprises registered graduates, government nominees, principals of government Siddha colleges, Tamil literature experts and practitioners of the system. Out of these members, government should nominate one president for the Council. The Council is the statutory registration body for Siddha practitioners. For practising in Tamil Nadu the registration in this Council is mandatory.

Dr Selvin commented that, as per the State Act, 1997, the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council was given powers for processing the applications for the establishment of new medical institutions, hence it was its duty to forward the files to the government with recommendations for giving prior approval. Since there is no formally constituted body, nothing is taken place in this regard.

The ISMGA office bearers have alleged that due to the paucity of a controlling body, the present system of council administration is not able to accomplish its duties, which in turn affect the development of the system. No research activity is going on in the field of Siddha and the total R&D activities have come to a halt. Creation and digitalization of old literature including palm leave manuscripts and publication of books are the duties of Siddha Medical Council. But in the home land of Siddha, there is no Council, no development, no research and no monitoring also. Quacks are taking advantage of the situation and no action can be taken against them, they alleged.

When asked whether ISMGA has any plan to break the silence of the authorities, Dr Selvin said “We will put the demand before the government and wait quietly for some time. If there is no positive response, our association will approach the court for a permanent solution.”

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