Explained: Surgery as part of Ayurveda

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News: Government of India has a notification listing out specific surgical procedures that a postgraduate medical student of Ayurveda must be practically trained to acquaint with as well as to independently perform.


  • How far is surgery part of Ayurveda? There are two branches of surgery in Ayurveda — Shalya Tantra which refers to general surgery, and Shalakya Tantra which pertains to surgeries related to the eyes, ears, nose, throat and teeth.All postgraduate students of Ayurveda study these courses and become Ayurveda surgeons.
  • Earlier Regulations for Postgraduate students in Ayurveda: They are guided by the Indian Medical Central Council (Post Graduate Education) Regulations,2016.The regulations allow postgraduate students to specialise in three disciplines of surgery namely Shalya Tantra, Shalakya Tantra, and Prasuti evam Stree Roga (Obstetrics and Gynecology).
  • What is the change? Ayurveda practitioners say the notification just brings clarity to the skills that an Ayurveda practitioner possesses.The surgeries that have been mentioned are all that are already part of the Ayurveda course.But there is little awareness about these.
  • Indian Medical Association’s(IMA) objections: IMA insist that they are not opposed to the practitioners of the ancient system of medicine.But the notification gives the impression that the skills or training of the Ayurveda doctor in performing modern surgeries are the same as those practising modern medicine. This is misleading and an encroachment into the jurisdiction and competencies of modern medicine.
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