Skeptic News: Homeopathy hornets nest

From: The Times of India

The state government’s recent proposal seeking to allow non-allopathy doctors to practise modern medicine after a one-year course in pharmacology has stirred a hornet’s nest. The proposal comes at a time whenMaharashtra has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of ayurveda and homeopathy colleges in the country. For every doctor practising allopathy in the state, there are two practising ayurveda and homeopathy.

Experts say the state’s move is intended to attract more students towards private ayurveda and homeopathy colleges, most of which are running courses with empty classrooms and negligible jobs to offer. Else, the state may have very little to explain why the urgent need to boost modern medicine and produce more allopathy doctors was conveniently overlooked. These numbers could probably put things into perspective. There are roughly 90,000 registered practitioners of modern medicine in the state, but 80,000 ayurveda, 58,000 homeopathy and over 5,000 unani doctors. In short, every third doctor in the state has graduated in one of the alternative systems of medicine.

Further, data compiled by the central government’s department of ayurveda, unani, siddha, yoga & naturopathy and homeopathy (AYUSH) in 2011 had underlined the fact that Maharashtra is home to 15.78% AYUSH doctors, highest in the country, even ahead of Uttar Pradesh. That has 14.09% non-allopathic practitioners. A senior AYUSH official told TOI, “Maharashtra has always been ahead in the race to start more private colleges and the demand for colleges is ever-increasing. The demand quite obviously is from the private sector.”

There has been resistance on all sides to the proposed further training. With alternative medicine practitioners declaring they don’t need it and actual doctors declaring that it’s nowhere near enough training.


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