Mumbai : Medical doctors who are contesting the upcoming elections to the Maharashtra Medical Council on December 18 are split over the issue of crosspathy, which means practitioners of ayurveda, homeopathy and unani medicines are allowed to practice allopathy.

While one group of doctors are supporting crosspathy, there are others who are opposing this. Interestingly, doctors on both sides of the arguments are allopathic doctors. Speaking in favour of crosspathy, Dr Lalitkumar Anande, a candidate from United Representatives Doctors Front, explained their case, that while there are enough medical doctors in the city, there is a serious shortage of trained medical professionals in the rural areas. There are very few allopathic doctors who are willing to practice in small villages and remote places and which makes it essential to allow crosspathy.

Regarding the issue of giving training to the practitioners of alternative medicines, Dr Anande said that this issue can be sorted out. “We have said that practitioners of alternative medicine should be given a basic training in allopathic medicine and then allowed to practice in the remote areas,” he pointed out.On the other side are those doctors who are against the practice of crosspathy and feel this can be bad for patients.

Dr SK Utture, who is contesting from the Indian Medical Association panel, said that allowing practitioners of ayurveda, homeopathy and other alternative medicine to practice allopathy can be very dangerous to patients. “These people only have half knowledge of allopathic medicines and randomly prescribing them can lead to dangerous complications,” he said. Dr Utture cautioned, “The increasing cases of antibiotic-resistance among patients, is the result of such crosspathy.”

Dr Sanjay Wathore, who is also promoting crosspathy, argued that there are often cases where even allopathic doctors keep prescribing ayurvedic medicines and certain kinds of natural supplements during treatment of any disease.

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