While the state government is trying to bring doctors of alternative medicine branches into the mainstream, and give them the permission to practice allopathy, the state claims an NGO is trying to create disparity between various branches of Ayush.

The Orange City Homeopaths Association of India (OCHAI) has demanded equal status and recognition as doctors from all other branches of medicine under the Indian system of medicine. The association claims that the Maharashtra government is discriminating against homeopaths as compared to ayurvedic, yoga, unani and siddha doctors; not just by giving them lower posts and designations but also much lesser salary as compared to others, especially ayurvedic doctors.

OCHAI president Dr Manish Patil said while the union government headed by Narendra Modi has created a new ministry of Ayush, the state has just changed the name of the directorate of Ayurveda to directorate of Ayush. The department continues to be under the public health ministry. “Isn’t it ironic that public health minister Dr Deepak Sawant, a homeopath, doesn’t understand our woes. We would be raising the issue during the ongoing monsoon legislative assembly session,” said Dr Patil.

The BJP government at the Centre has converted the National Rural Health Mission to National Health Mission, and is trying to deliver all systems of Indian medicine to rural areas. But the state government seems to have taken no cognisance of this, say homeopaths. “Homeopaths share the disease burden in rural areas as much as ayurvedic doctors. But we are not given equal status nor remuneration. In fact, the total number of posts are also less in the proposed structure for Ayush doctors in subdistrict hospitals and women’s hospital in the state,” said Dr Kailash Sahare of OCHAI.

The state is planning full time posts of director, assistant director, in charge doctor, resident doctor under grade A or class I officers for ayurvedic doctors, but there is no grade for homeopaths. In fact, homeopaths are being recruited on contractual basis on a consolidated salary of Rs14,000 whereas salaries of ayurvedic doctors would range between Rs22,000 to 52,000.

In every subdistrict hospital with 100 beds, the state is proposing 11 doctors of Ayush — four ayurvedic, 3 homeopathic, two unani, one yoga and one naturopathy. “But we are demanding equal and more number of ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors,” said Dr Patil.

THE DEMANDS

Equal posts and equal salary for ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors in government hospitals

Increasing posts of Indian system of medicine doctors to 13 instead of 11, with four doctors each of ayurveda and homeopathy

No discrimination between different forms of Ayush or Indian systems of medicine.

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