Dr K R Mansoor Ali
Posted in June 2009
AKHCC – All Kerala Homeopathic Coordination Council (A movement of qualified homeopaths, students, teachers, practitioners and Medical officers) strongly protested against Kerala Government’s move to sanction recognition to unqualified person to practice homeopathy in Malabar region. Active agitations are going on in different parts of the state.
Homeopaths of Kerala shut down their clinic on 18th June to take part in a mass protest and marched to Collectorate in 4 district head quarters of state. Govt. Medical officers and Teachers abstained from duty on the same day.
Kerala Govt. brought out a GO on June 4, 2009 favoring quacks who started practicing before 1987, even without basic qualification in homoeopathy, totally degrading the Central Council of Homeopathy Act 1973 which is applicable to all states of India and which was implemented in Kerala in 1974.
The recent unexpected Government Order allowing unqualified traditional practitioners of ayurveda, unani, homeopathy and siddha (‘Ayush’) systems to treat patients has baffled healthcare professionals and intensified the antagonism between traditional healers and qualified medical practitioners.
The order will mostly benefit traditional ayurveda practitioners, whose number is said to be around 50,000 and quack homeopaths nearly 10,000.
The current order comes at a time when a government-appointed commission is in the middle of studying the issue of recognition to the traditional and homeopathy practitioners. Moreover, an appeal is pending in the Supreme Court against a 2003 High Court verdict that said that only those with necessary educational qualification should be enrolled as registered practitioners.
The qualified homeopathy professionals are anguished that the order would lead to the erosion of homeopathy’s emerging status as a science.
In Kerala there are 5 Homeopathic Medical colleges which offer BHMS degree courses produce nearly 250 graduate homeopathic doctors and 100 postgraduates every year. First Homeo College was started in Kerala in the year 1960. The students could get into these colleges by scoring high on the State Entrance Examination after their Plus Two course. This Govt. Order would turn their education and training worthless.
In 1953, Travancore -Cochin Medical council act was implemented and all the qualified doctors of Kerala irrespective of the system are required to register in this council. As per the Kerala adaptation order of 1956, TC Medical Council act was extended to Malabar area also. As of now, all AYUSH practitioners are required to register themselves with the Travancore-Kochi Medical Council.
There were several original petitions filed by fake practitioners of Homeopathy & Ayurveda in Kerala from time to time and each were challenged before the Honourable High Court of Kerala. The High Court held the view that recognized qualification and registration is necessary for practice. There is no legally sustainable claim for anyone to practice Homeopathy without recognized qualification and recognition after the implementation of CCH act 1973. This GO is to bypass the aforesaid Division Bench judgment and the provisions of CCH act.
Similar attempts for implementing a state law for allowing people without recognised qualification and registration to practice medicine were made in 1970’s and again in 1996. When concurrence of the central Government was sought on the topic, those legislative proposal were shot-down by the Central Government on the ground that the provisions contained in the Bills for permitting fake practitioners to continue their practice of medicine were repugnant to the provisions of the Central Acts for homeopathy, Allopathy and Ayurveda.
Again, though there was no change in the situation with the central law remaining the same, the state Government attempted to bring in the Kerala medical practitioners Bill 2003 and when concurrence of Central Government was sought, it was rejected by the Centre again.
Legalising the practice of fake practitioners would endanger the public health of the people of the state of Kerala and this attempt of the state to bring this order is on account of the pressure and political tactics exercised by the fake practitioners and their mentors and it is unconstitutional and ultra-vies of the Central Law. As per the law unqualified practitioner shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of one year or with fine up to 1000 rupees or both. Govt. of Kerala trying to legalise this offence.
Healthcare professionals worry that the order will let a large number of quacks enter the medical field under the cover of ‘traditional practitioners’ apart from allowing thousands of untrained ‘homeo practitioners’ to treat patients and will cause a massive setback to the advances in education, training and research made by homeopathy & ayurveda in recent decades. Homeopathy is not a traditional medicine.
Associations of qualified practitioners of unani, siddha and ayurveda are also on agitation to get this order withdrawn at the earliest.
Because of the united and strong agitation by the homeopaths of Kerala- Kerala Govt. freezes that order and appointed a commission consisting of Director of homeopathy and others, to submit a report regarding this matter at the earliest. That committee submitted the report against un qualified homeopaths and requested Govt of Kerala to enforce CCH act at the earliest.
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