By a Correspondent,
New Delhi, May 30,
With the reported directions provided by the Pharmacy Council of India to us the prefix Doctor (Dr) while awarding degrees to Pharm D graduates, Indian Medical Association (IMA) strongly opposes any such moves.
As this title reflects entitlement and identity, IMA is against all such shift from those who are trained in other streams of Health sector to venture into medical practice. According to IMA, such illegitimate conferment cannot become entitlements, just in case if an advocate or an engineer should be called doctor by an executive order. Such social anarchy only creates confusion in the minds of common man and the impact it has on the structure of a well organized society is clearly evident.
Aspiration in any course needs to be legitimate and appropriate to be recognized. The roles and responsibilities of nurses, physiotherapists, optometrists and others in the field of healthcare are irreplaceable and are as per their entitlement.
“Bridge courses and illegitimate conferment of the title of Dr. are two faces of the same issue which defies the sole purpose of NEET. This year the cut-off marks in the NEET for Government seats were 497 out of 700, wherein most of the students, settled for non-medical courses. A Pharmacist by any other name will remain a Pharmacist. Indirect entitlement to practice of modern medicine on human beings by colored exercise of power by bodies created for a limited purpose is unacceptable. Transgressions of entitlement are illegal and illegitimate.” Said Dr Santanu Sen, National President, Indian Medical Association.
The rules and regulations governing the practice of Modern medicine are settled positions of law in India. The Supreme Court of India in (1) Poonam verma v/s AswinPattel and others reported in 1996 (4) SCC 332, (2) Dr. Muktiar Chand and others v/s State of Punjab and others reported in AIR 1999 (SC) 468 , (3) Medical council of India and another v/s State of Rajasthan reported in AIR 1996 (S.C) 2073, has clearly held that, only a person holding a registration with the Medical Council of India or the state Medical Councils is entitled to practice Modern System of Medicine. As per the judgments and the rulings stated above, pharmacists cannot use prefix “Dr” to their name, they can work only under medical supervision and in any case cannot be the first contact person for an illness.
“IMA has the duty and privilege to defend the rights of medical graduates. IMA has written to the Union Health Ministry and MCI on the inappropriateness of the announcement by the Pharmacy Council. IMA demands that the Government of India use its authority and settle the issue as per the law of the land. IMA also urges the Pharmacy Council to take back the unlawful order. The entitlement to a medical graduate comes out of merit and the nature of the course. The whole purpose of the exam is diluted by adding other medical streams.” Said Dr RV Asokan, Hony. Secretary General, IMA.
The Government of India , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare bearing No R/ 14015/25/96, wherein the Government of India has clearly held the term ‘Dr’ can be used only by the practitioners of recognized systems of medicine.