MUMBAI : The Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday allowed homeopathic doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines during emergencies. This was a long-standing demand of homeopathic doctors. It will facilitate permanent employment in government hospitals.
As per the Cabinet decision, homeopaths who took their degree/diploma in 1992-’93, would have to undergo a special one-year course in pharmacology before they can prescribe allopathic medicines.
However, livid allopathic doctors and health activists pointed out that it homeopaths are not the same as medically trained doctors. They also questioned the efficacy of homeopathic treatment said that allowing them to prescribe allopathic medicines could put the lives of patients at risk.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors is planning to move the court on Friday itself. The Indian Medical Association, in turn, will hold an emergency meeting at weekend to discuss the issue.
“We are against the decision for three reasons. First, since homeopaths have taken their degree in a particular discipline, why can’t they practice their own stream? Second, the Cabinet has not sought suggestions from the Maharashtra Medical Council and the Medical Council of India before taking a decision that impinges on patients’ lives. Third, since most homeopathic colleges are administered by politicians, is this not a good way of assuring a steady flow of funds to these institutions?” pointed out Dr Anil Patnekar, president, Indian Medical Association.
But the decision was hailed by the NCP. “We welcome the decision. The government has addressed a long-pending demand of homeopathic doctors,” Dr Narendra Kale and Dr Sameer Dalwai of the NCP’s doctors cell said.
“We had been pressing the government to allow us to practice and prescribe allopathic medicines so that we can handle emergency cases,” Dr Kale said.