CHENNAI: The allopathy versus traditional medicine crossfire in Tamil Nadu has intensified, with the MGR Medical University pulling out the allopathy content from the traditional medicine syllabus and the Central Council for Indian Medicine(CCIM) threatening to withdraw recognition for such courses.
Caught in melee are 1,200-odd students of siddha, unani, ayurveda and homeopathy courses under the MGR university . The university had deleted allopathy portions from the undergraduate syllabus of traditional medicine courses this year as it wanted to curb traditional medicine practitioners from prescribing allopathic drugs.
CCIM, which prescribes the curriculum and syllabus for courses, is not too pleased. "If the university changes the syllabus , it would be a clear violation of the provisions of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970," CCIM secretary P R Sharma said. CCIM has demanded that the university reintroduce the removed syllabus within 30 days failing which it will withdraw recognition and the state council will be asked not to register students passing out of the university .
University officials confirmed the revision in syllabus. University vice-chancellor Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said the decision to prune the syllabus was taken on the basis of inputs from six senior allopathic doctors. "We have reduced syllabus for MBBS by 20% because we found that students face an overload of information . In Indian medicine stream, we cut down on the syllabus because we thought there were too many irrelevant things," he said. Dr Natarajan said the varsity is planning to change the nomenclature of the degrees it awarded to Indian medicine graduates.
Now, an undergraduate in Ayurveda will no more be Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) but only Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine (BAM). "Why should they be called surgeons when they don't do any surgery?," he said.
Tamil Nadu State Medical Council president Dr M Prakasam welcomed the university decision. "I am glad the purity of Indian medicine is restored . Allowing non-allopathic doctors to prescribe modern medicines and conduct surgery amounts to state-sponsored quackery," he said.