Treading the path of farmers, medical practitioners in India have become the latest group to protest against the policies of the Modi government.
Doctors of Indian Medical Association (IMA), an apex body of doctors in India, have begun a hunger strike from this week at over 50 places across the country in protest against a notification by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) authorising post-graduate practitioners of Ayurveda to perform general surgical procedures.
Fear of 'mixopathy'; What is it?
The national medical body has said the new procedure will lead to "mixopathy". But what is "mixopathy"?
The protesting doctors have coined the new term by combining the word "mix" and the suffix "pathy," which in other terms means disease. It is a critical way to refer to what they see as an effort to combine different alternatives of medical systems, including homoeopathy and Ayurveda, along with modern medical science.
Members of the IMA argue that Ayurveda practitioners shouldn't be allowed to carry out complicated surgeries that take years to learn.
They have requested the government to take back its decision, notified last November, complaining that the step will not only encourage already rampant quackery but also undermine the safety of the public.
The association condemns the notification by the CCIM, authorising post-graduate practitioners in specified streams of Ayurveda to be trained to perform surgical procedures such as excisions of benign tumours, amputation of gangrene, nasal and cataract surgeries, the doctor's body said in a statement.
"IMA demands immediate withdrawal of the said impractical, unscientific and unethical notification," it read.
Calibration of patient care
IMA national president, secretary-general and other the top brass of the association are scheduled to visit various places across the country to enhance the movement. The statement said that the strike will continue till February 14. It also said the female doctors will lead the nationwide hunger strike on February 7.
All speciality associations in India, including The Dental Association, have joined the hunger strike through the Federation of Medical Associations under the aegis of IMA. The medical body has been opposing this move of the government ever since last year and has asked CCIM to roll back the notification.
In order to make people aware of the new procedures, the IMA has also released posters and banners updating the risk that the notification poses.
Furthermore, the association has also planned to take its protest on a global platform by informing global bodies about this "unscientific notification." The "global voice of modern medicine" would reflect the feelings of IMA, it said in the statement.