15:36 GMT17 April 2021
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    On 21 November, India's central government allowed Ayurveda doctors to perform a host of surgical procedures like appendectomies and root canals, to name a few. The government's decision, aimed at expanding the use of healthcare resources towards the benefit of the nation, was not received well by the medical community.

    The Indian Medical Association (IMA) – the country's apex body of healthcare workers started Friday morning with a nationwide strike that has since been joined by thousands of doctors from across India. 

    As part of the strike, the IMA has called a halt on all non-urgent procedures and surgeries between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (local time). Emergency services like casualty, labour rooms, ICU duties, and urgent surgeries, however, will remain operational across the nation.

    ​Calling the government's decision to allow Ayurveda doctors to perform certain surgical procedures a "retrograde step of mixing systems", the IMA bluntly condemned the centre's announcement. 

    "We unequivocally condemn the uncivil ways of the Central Council of Indian Medicine to arrogate itself to vivisect modern medicine and empower its practitioners with undeserving areas of practice. The said council has come out with a gazette notification of a list of surgical procedures which can be performed by its practitioners. They have no right to the technical terms, techniques, and procedures of modern medicine", the media reported the IMA as saying in a statement.

    On its official Twitter account, the IMA also posted video messages from senior doctors, including its national president Dr Rajan Sharma, who are strongly opposed to this "mixopathy" of allowing Ayurveda doctors to step into the field of modern medicine.

    ​As per the government order, Ayurveda medics will be required to get trained under qualified doctors of modern medicine before they can perform at least 58 kinds of surgical procedures.

    The IMA, however, has urged all doctors to refrain from teaching surgical techniques to Ayurveda doctors.

    Netizens also started the day by posting their opinions on the nationwide strike called for by the IMA. While some supported the cause, others did not.

    ​The announcement to allow Ayurveda doctors to receive training to perform some surgeries was issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine, a statutory body under the AYUSH Ministry.

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