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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai January 09 , 2018
Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physicians (IIHP) has opposed the proposed bridge course for Ayush doctors in National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 saying that its a retrograde step and highly detrimental to homeopathy in a long run.

Unscientific mixing of medical systems is anti-people too. It will pave the way for backdoor entry of qualified quacks to medical field. Experts feel that such a provision, if passed, could do more harm than good.

Clause 49 of the Bill states that a joint meeting of the National Medical Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine should be held at least once in a year "to enhance the interface between Homoeopathy, Indian Systems of Medicine and modern systems of medicine".

"The joint sitting, may, by an affirmative vote of all members present and voting, decide on approving specific bridge course that may be introduced for the practitioners of Homeopathy and of Indian Systems of Medicine to enable them to prescribe such modern medicine at such level as may be prescribed," it reads.

The Bill seeking to replace the Medical Council of India and also revamp medical education in India was recently introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Said Dr M A Rao, national president of IIHP, “Our organization is totally against the proposed bridge course for Ayush doctors as it will not serve any purpose for the national health. This course will open a pandora's box for creating quackery which is disastrous for national health, thereby reducing the quality of allopathic medicare. Most importantly it will undermine the faith, homeopaths have in their own system of medicine. In the long history of 70 years of existence our organization has never, demanded government to permit Homeopaths to practice allopathy or requested government to start a bridge course. We are in favour of maintaining the purity of each system of medicine.”

As far as this bridge course·is concern we fully support Indian Medical Association (IMA) concern. Though we are practicing Homeopaths with strong footing worldwide we are equally proud of our allopathic professionals who are world class in health care, said Dr Rao.

Allopathy and homeopathy are different systems of medicine altogether. So there is no way they can clear a bridge course and then start practicing allopathy, he said.

Today, Homoeopathy has gained widespread acceptance in India. In fact, a study conducted by IMRB on ‘Acceptance of Homeopathy in India’ revealed that 59 per cent people in major cities have shifted from allopathy to homeopathy in the last one year as they believe it to be a safe form of medicine, whereas 77 per cent people believe it to be a healthy medication for long term benefits.

WHO says the annual sale of homeopathic drugs accounts to Rs.8,400 crore globally. In India sale of homeopathic medicines has grown 26.3 per cent annually.

India is world leader in homeopathy. There are 550 million patients in 86 countries being treated by homoeopaths.

The reasoning behind the provision could be an attempt to increase the availability of doctors in rural India. But modern medicine is much more complex and a bridge course is more like a short-cut, said a noted homeopath. Instead of diluting one system of medicine to another by certain bridge courses, excellence should be promoted in each system of medicine. There is a steep rise in NCD patients in India. Homeopathy has proved efficacy in treating NCD patients. Homoeopathy has been practiced for 200 years. It offers customized cure to patients unlike allopathy, he said.

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