Ayush Ministry clarifies order allowing Ayurveda PG students to practice surgery

New Delhi, November 22 (MExN): Following the controversy over a notification allowing Ayurveda postgraduate (PG) students to practise general surgery, the Ministry of Ayush on Sunday issued a clarification stating that it is not a ‘policy shift’and only "58 specified surgical procedures" were allowed. 

The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), the statutory body that regulates the Indian Medical systems of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Unani Medicine issued the notification on November 20 “streamline some of the provisions of the regulations concerning Post Graduate Ayurveda Education,” it said. 

According to the clarification from the Ministry via PIB, it has came to its notice that  some “mis-reported and incorrectly interpreted versions” of the November 20 notification have surfaced in some media platforms, leading to mis-information.

To lay to rest the apprehensions arising out of such incorrect interpretations, the Ministry is issuing the clarifications, it said. 

 Among others, it said informed that the notification called the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Amendment Regulations, 2020 relates to Shalya and Shalakya streams of Post Graduate Education in Ayurveda. 

The notification specifies a total of 58 surgical procedures that PG scholars of these streams (cumulatively) need to be practically trained in so as to enable them to independently perform the said activities after completion of their PG Degree, it said. 

The notification is specific to these specified surgical procedures and does not allow Shalya and Shalakya Post Graduates to take up any other types of surgery, it added. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry claimed that the notification was “a clarification of the relevant provisions in the previously existing regulations of 2016. “

“Since beginning, Shalya and Shalakya are independent Departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures. While the notification of 2016 stipulated that the students shall undergo training of investigative procedures, techniques and surgical performance of procedures and management in the respective specialty, the details of these techniques, procedures and surgical performance were laid down in the syllabus of respective PG courses issued by CCIM, and not the regulation per se,” it said. 

The present clarification was issued in over-all public interest by CCIM by bringing the said details into the regulation. Hence this does not signify any policy shift, it added. 

The Ministry also maintained that no any comments or objections about the use of modern terminology in the said notification were received and it was not aware of any such controversy.

However, it further clarified that “all scientific advances including standardized terminologies are inheritances of the entire mankind. No individual or group has monopoly over these terminologies.”

“In the instant notification, modern terms are adopted as per requirement to ensure that the same is understood widely in the medical profession, in the stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT etc., as well as by the members of the public,” it added. 

It further maintained that the usage of modern terminology in the said notification does not amount to “mixing” of Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine.

The purpose of all modern scientific terminology is to facilitate effective communication and correspondence among the different stake-holders, it added. 

The CCIM is deeply committed to maintaining the authenticity of Indian systems of medicine, and is against any such “mixing,” it underscored.