The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Dibrugarh branch on Tuesday staged a two-hour demonstration at the Assam Medical College and Hospital campus in protest against the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM)’s decision to allow Ayurvedic doctors to perform surgeries.

The medical association has also appealed to all allopathic doctors across the country to withdraw non-essential and non-Covid-19 services from 6 am to 6 pm on December 11.

On November 19, the CCIM through an amendment to the PG Ayurveda Education Regulations, 2016 allowed post-graduate (PG) Ayurvedic students to receive formal training on a variety of surgical procedures.

These procedures include general surgery, orthopedic, ophthalmology, ENT, and dental procedures and surgeries.

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“We have already announced a series of protests against the detrimental steps of the government and today’s protest was a part of the country-wide agitation,” said  IMA Dibrugarh branch president, Shantanu Lahkar.

As per the gazette notification, the students will be trained in two streams of surgery.

They will receive the titles of MS (Ayurveda) shalya tantra general surgery and MS (Ayurveda) shalakya tantra (disease of eye, ear, nose, throat, head and orodentistry).

“The IMA is highly perturbed by the recent policy proposal integrating all systems of medicine, which could put millions of lives at risk,” Lahkar said.

The decision to allow Ayurvedic PG doctors to perform various surgeries, which are otherwise carried out by well-trained surgeons under the modern medical system, poses threat to public health, he said.

“We demand the immediate withdrawal of the notification of the amendment,” he further said.

The IMA claimed that the competency of surgical skills falls under the ambit, authority and jurisdiction of modern medicine.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has ascribed such surgeries under PG course titled MS (general surgery).

The lower Assam branch Indian Dental Association also staged protests against the CCIM move in Nalbari, Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts.

Speaking to the media, Dr Rupam Choudhury, honorary secretary of IDA, Lower Assam branch, said, “IDA opposes poaching of concepts and science from modern dentistry.”

“We have enough manpower to cater to oral health needs of our country,” he added citing the slogan of ‘one nation one system’.

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