Dir ISM says can’t stop it alone
Srinagar: In brazen violation of the Supreme Court ruling and Central Council of Indian medicine (CCIM) rules, AYUSH doctors in Kashmir Valley continue to practice allopathic system of medicine thereby risking the lives of patients.
The illegal practice of cross prescription by the doctors is rampant in rural areas under the nose of the authorities.
The Supreme Court has, in its many judgements, forbidden the prescription of allopathic drugs by the AYUSH doctors and has described such doctors as quacks.
The CCIM and the state health authorities too have issued circulars from time to time warning the doctors against indulging in malpractice.
However, AYUSH doctors posted in the rural healthcare facilities across the Valley continue to practice allopathy, with authorities failing to keep a check on the illegal practice that can prove disastrous for the patients.
Officials in the Health department said the authorities were deliberately looking the other way as most of the PHCs and other health centers are run by AYUSH doctors appointed under New Delhi-sponsored scheme, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for the last 10 years.
“The Health department is facing a shortage of allopathic doctors. And in order to overcome the shortage, hundreds of AYUSH doctors have been posted in rural health centers in all the districts.
“Many health centres are run by these doctors alone even during nights. Health authorities want the health centres functional in rural areas to avoid the public cry, no matter which degree the doctors possess and what they prescribe,” said a top official of the department.
Another top official also expressed concern over the cross prescription practice.
“AYUSH doctors have a very little or no knowledge about the allopathic drugs. Giving them a free hand to indulge in the practice is equivalent to inviting a disaster,” he said.
There are around 900 AYUSH doctors working in different rural hospitals of the state under NRHM.
These doctors are under the administrative control of director health services. Besides, around 600 AYUSH doctors are working at around 500 ISM dispensaries set up in the state during the last several years.
However, complaints galore about the doctors posted in these ISM dispensaries resorting to cross prescription practice.
“Since there are not enough herbal drugs available in these dispensaries, the doctors are forced to prescribe allopathic medicines. Also, the drugs are being purchased from the lesser-known companies. So, doctors in these dispensaries too are left with no option but to prescribe allopathic drugs,” said an insider in ISM, adding, ‘The authorities have bitterly feed to promote AYUSH despite the huge fund flow for the purpose.”
Director General ISM, Dr Kabir, admitted that AYUSH doctors in hospitals cross the medical boundaries. He, however, said he alone cannot stop the malpractice.
“The practice is not only illegal but hazardous too. I have many a time issued circulars warming the AYUSH doctors against practicing allopathy. But there is no end to the practice in PHCs and other health centers in rural areas. A few years back, a joint circular signed by Director Health Services, Director NRHM, and me was issued, but I fail to understand why the practice does not stop in rural hospitals. I am very much worried,” Dr Kabir told Kashmir Reader.
He said that bringing an end to the practice needed a joint effort from Health department and ISM.
He, however, said there were no complaints from ISM dispensaries.
Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Sameer Matoo, did not respond to repeated calls from Kashmir Reader.