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Ayurveda vs Allopathy | Both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work : SC

Ayurveda vs Allopathy | Both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work : SC

Yesterday, the Supreme Court set aside a Gujarat High Court order,  that Ayurveda practitioners are at par with MBBS doctors in terms of pay benefits.

A division bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal stated that it cannot be oblivious to the fact that both categories do not perform equal work to be entitled to equal pay.

"Allopathy doctors are required to perform emergency duties and to provide trauma care. By the very nature of the science that they practice and with the advancement of science and modern medical technology, the emergency duty that Allopathy doctors are capable of performing and the trauma care that they are capable of providing, cannot be performed by Ayurveda doctors. It is also not possible for Ayurveda doctors to assist surgeons performing complicated surgeries, while MBBS doctors can assist," the order said.

"It is common knowledge that during out-patient days (OPD) in general hospitals in cities/towns, MBBS doctors are made to attend to hundreds of patients, which is not the case with Ayurveda doctors...even while recognizing the importance of Ayurveda doctors and the need to promote alternative/indigenous systems of medicine, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work to be entitled to equal pay."

Case Brief

In the said matter, the Court was hearing an appeal filed by the Gujarat government's appeal against orders of the Gujarat High Court aheld that Ayurveda doctors are, like their MBBS counterparts, are entitled to be paid benefits recommended by the Tikku Pay Commission.

Relying on several precedents, the apex court at the outset made it clear that a classification based upon educational qualification is not violative of Articles 14 and 16.

On the issue of parity between doctors of modern medicine and Ayurveda, the Bench stated,

"The practitioners of indigenous systems of medicine do not perform complicated surgical operations. A study of Ayurveda does not authorise them to perform these surgeries."

It was pointed out that even post-mortem/autopsies or magisterial inquiries into causes of death are not carried out by Ayurveda doctors.

"We do not think that the AYUSH doctors are normally notified as competent to perform post-mortem."

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