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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai. January 29 , 2019
Citing withdrawal of the bridge course introduced by the Central government for Ayush practitioners to prescribe allopathic medicines in medical emergency situations, the government of Meghalaya has stopped allowing Ayush doctors in the health department to prescribe modern medicines to patients coming to the rural hospitals.

The secretary of health and family welfare has issued a circular in this regard to the director of health services and to all the superintendents of the district hospitals.

P. Bakshi, health secretary-cum-Ayush director in Meghalaya, through his letter has instructed health director and district superintendents of hospitals to take action against those who prescribe allopathic medicines. "Ayush doctors cannot prescribe allopathy drugs under any circumstances. The government of India has scrapped the bridge course introduced for them," says the circular.

According to sources from health ministry, the central government had earlier decided to introduce a bridge course for the Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy practitioners to practice modern system in certain emergency situations. Under National Health Mission scheme, it had been decided to allow the Indian medicine practitioners to prescribe allopathy medicines in rural areas. For this, the Ayush practitioners should complete a bridge course. But, this decision of the government was opposed by the modern medical community through agitations and nationwide protests. Subsequently, the government had reviewed its decision of the bridge course and put it on hold.

Later, when government of India decided to introduce National Medical Commission, and it was decided to scrap the bridge course. Meanwhile, several Ayush doctors, especially those working under the NHM, started prescribing allopathy drugs to their patients. This kind of practice was being continued in village areas in the undeveloped north eastern states. Now, in the wake of central government's decision to remove the bridge course, state governments have started to ban allopathy prescription by Ayush practitioners.

A member of IMA said, following the decision to scrap the bridge course every state government has to bring out circulars asking the Ayush practitioners to stop prescribing allopathy drugs in any situation.

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