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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai October 22 , 2020
The government Siddha doctors who are assigned for duties in COVID-19 First-Line Treatment Centres (FLTCs) in Kerala have sought the permission of the authorities to administer medicines of their system to the category-A patients.
Mild and asymptomatic patients are coming to the FLTCs where Ayush doctors are forced to do ‘crosspathy’ by not permitting to give medicines of their own systems, Siddha doctors alleged.
Government has deployed Siddha and Ayurveda medical officers of Ayush dispensaries and national health mission centres to the FLTCs along with allopathic doctors citing shortage of manpower. But these Ayush doctors are prescribing allopathic drugs following the common protocol. The Siddhars’ allegation is that they are forced to do ‘crosspathy’ which is objected to by MCI and IMA, but practically it is being implemented in the FLCTs at present.
The president of the Siddha Medical Association of India (SMAI), Dr Abhil Mohan, a national health mission medical officer said Ayush doctors are used for managing allopathic protocols, but they are not permitted to give their medicines to the patients. He said his association has requested the government to set up separate COVID treatment centres of Ayush systems. But the government is yielding to the pressure of the IMA which is against all Ayush streams. However, he said the assignment of Ayush practitioners for COVID duties is with the knowledge of the IMA which now does not raise any objection citing crosspathy or quackery.
Including NHM and National Ayush Mission (NAM) projects, there are about 60 Siddha doctors working in the government health sector in the state. Siddha medicines are supplied to patients through dispensaries and Ayush hospitals as immunity boosters. Since COVID cases are spiraling day by day, the government roped in all the Siddha practitioners along with Ayurveda and Homoeopathy medical officers for the first line duties. The sufferers are the poor patients visiting the Siddha dispensaries where the OP wing is hardly functioning, said Dr Mohan.

He said the state government has drawn an action plan for Ayush interventions which covers three projects, swasthyam, sukhayushyam and punarjany. Siddha medicines are supplied for the first two projects which are for preventing the disease. Punarjany is for post-COVID management. In these three projects, Siddha system has medicines, but the practitioners are not allowed to provide them to the category-A patients. The same case is with Ayurveda also, said the president of the SMAI.

While talking over telephone, he said there are exclusive COVID treatment centres in Tamil Naud where Siddha medicines are administered to asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients. When Pharmabiz contacted, Dr M Kannan, the president of IMPCOPS, a society of Siddha doctors in Chennai, said there are 23 Siddha COVID centres functioning in various districts in addition to those set up with the attached district Ayush hospitals. Mild and asymptomatic patients are admitted there and Siddha medicines are being administered.

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