When we were interacting with wide section of people in Tamil Nadu to learn their awareness and level of understanding about Siddha system, one paradoxical answer shocked us i.e., most of the people with whom we had interacted said that they know something about the Siddha system but strangely none appears to know the abbreviation ‘BSMS’ and ‘BSMS, MD’ refers only to Siddha system. Many said that they assume when see the qualification of the practitioner as ‘BSMS’ and ‘BSMS, MD’, used to believe that the doctor might have studied some super specialty course in modern medicine.
Whereas the practitioners of Siddha system holding ‘B’ and ‘C’ certificate in general highlight the word ‘Siddha’ clearly and explicitly.
When the Siddha practitioners with BSMS prescribe allopathic medicines along with some Siddha preparations, patients said that they believe strongly about the credence of Siddha system due to the above notion. After getting the problem cured, they believe that the cure had come only from Siddha drugs some Siddha practitioners do claim also. Unfortunately, the obvious, absolute truth remains unseen by the most.
In fact, if they had not prescribed the Siddha preparations and have treated the patients only with allopathic drugs, it would have been better to the patients from the cost per se. Patients needs not use Siddha preparations just to safeguard some Siddha practitioners own interest that they should not be seen as practicing only allopathic drugs.
The allopathic practitioners always display vividly their area of expertise as MBBS – MD Dermatology or Diploma in Dermatology or DipNB in Dermatology, Cardiology, Urology, Geriatrics etc. By doing so they are not only promoting own expertise but also promoting the respective specialties.
If the Government of Tamil Nadu & India, the CCRS, CCIM, AYUSH and other allied institutions ensure that Siddha practitioners must clearly write – Siddha System of Medicine in Tamil language as ‘Citta Maruthuvam’ along with their degree, the patients will not get lost in the terms like BSMS or BSMS, MD as some new medical course or specialty.
Further the patients when see the terminology – Citta Maruthuvam in Tamil, the system also would get high level of branding and reputation. Further such display also would put some break to those Siddha practitioners resorting to rampant practice of allopathic drugs.
This suggestion was once made by one of the Drugs Inspectors during an informal chat with us at Drugs Controller’s Office at Chennai.
The above suggestions must have come from CCIM, AYUSH, CCRS etc., as this is one of the best ways of promoting and popularizing the Siddha system. But such innovative and meaningful actions are not seems to be forthcoming from these departments. Instead, either they opts to be silent when we approach them or tries to twist the facts like modern advances as allopathic medicine as understood and interpreted by CCIM. Further, instead of developing the own system, these departments strangely asks for integration of allopathic system and ISM so that Siddha practitioners can prescribe allopathic system. By doing so, the people at these department can continue to enjoy all fallacies of Government of India entitled to a system of medicine.
Another social issue also we like to state here. For safeguarding own interest of some Siddha practitioners as they should not be seen as practicing only allopathic drugs, they do prescribe some churnams and lehiyams. This actually puts an additional cost to the patients, said Dr Abdul Abbas, MD-Siddha.
Two patients had researched once by using only the Siddha preparation during an acute stage of infection without using the allopathic drug prescribed by the Siddha practitioner but it did not work. When they used only allopathic drugs, it worked. So what extra benefit the Siddha preparation has done except pinching badly the wallet of the patient, wondered the patient. But the clinician did not offer any answer to the above question, said the patient.
The Government of India has brought DPCO norms to control the prices of most of the drugs in allopathic system. This was aimed to benefit largely the rural folks. But again the innocent patients in the rural areas ends up in spending more due to their gullibility or ‘non accounted culpability’ of some Siddha practitioners by the Government.
We are re-iterating the example of Siddha practitioners prescribing allopathic drugs only to drive home the strong message of the system needs to be re-classified in line with other paramedical courses and should not be continued as System of Medicine.
As a citizen of the country, we also have also the responsibility to tell the Government about what we understood and how do we perceive different aspects in our society.
Any system can be promoted and popularized only if it is done rightfully by highlighting its true merits. By creating a false image or aura, people can be attracted towards it but only for a short while. The home remedies described in Siddha system has rich tributes to our healthy life. Such merit of the system needs to be highlighted.
Kindly re-position the Siddha system as System for health and relief (welfare) and it is not and cannot be, by definition and merit, system of medicine.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) how it differs despite integrated approach we will cover in our forthcoming articles.
Dr S Ranganathan