When we were discussing with some Siddha private practitioners, we could learn their pain and sufferings and hence we thought we should highlight the psychological aspects of Siddha practitioners prescribing allopathic medicines and the reasons for their outrageous rejection of Siddha preparations and why they never wants to be in the same lineage and continue the legacy (do not want their children study BSMS).
Most of the students who had done BSMS and MD were quite good at their academics during school days. They were all once aspiring to study medicine – MBBS and have been nurturing such desire. In the selection exams, most of them had lost MBBS for a few marks. Since they had set their mind for MBBS, many elders had advised them to go for BSMS as it is also a medical course and is in no way different from MBBS. Thinking it to be a medical course, most of them had joined but it was proven to be mistake.
The duration of the course – BSMS is as same as MBBS, after completion of the academic, there is house surgency for 6 months. Once the course is completed, they have three options like government postings in PHC’s and other allied clinics or can join the teaching colleges (after post graduation) or can practice. If those who wish to study MD in Government colleges, they are also paid stipend equal to what the allopathic post graduate would receive.
From the package and presentation angle, the course BSMS appears to be equal to MBBS in every respect. That is how many had joined the course, said Dr Abdul Abbas, MD-Siddha. The historic truth is that Siddha course was never the first or even the second choice of most of those who had studied the system, said Dr Abdul Abbas, MD-Siddha. The reason being is the limited scope for private practitioners as Siddha system does not have single drug even to treat the most common diseases and that are otherwise easily curable with one or two courses of allopathic drugs. But ironically the Siddha system has drugs for many incurable diseases.
After completing BSMS, those who wish to practice are confronted with two separate challenges viz.,
- Siddha has limited offerings both to the practitioner and to the patients
- How to lead a respectable life with status as a doctor
Those who joined the government service, naturally has less to regret as the salaries are credited automatically to their account every month and all they might have to do (if they have to do) is speak high about Siddha system. But unfortunately most of them failed to understand the agony and anger of their counterparts in the private practice.
A few Siddha practitioners even shared with us that they don’t even feel proud to introduce themselves as ‘doctor’ in the first place as questions may come later as which specialty of medicine they belongs to?
They face three kinds of dilemmas viz.,
- Patients who consult them are looking for definite cure and never come to listens to the great legacy of Siddha system etc.,
- No single Siddha drug that would offer instant cure to the patients who suffer from most common problems like fever, infection, head aches etc., is available
- If they don’t offer cure, patients would change the doctor and if such thing happens the Siddha practitioner have to change the profession or have to starve unto to death.
If they want to stick to their practice in the area of non-communicable diseases prescribing only Siddha preparations, it would take years to get patients, earn good will and money. Further, most patients who suffer from various chronic, non communicable diseases like Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Arthritis etc., also will not consult Siddha practitioners first but it would be last or prior to last choice. In fact patients take a chance to test their luck and that is how they visit them, said Dr Abdul Abbas.
Having aspired to study MBBS was the first mistake. The much bigger mistake was they chose to study BSMS. Could not join Government service was another ill luck.
To live, to maintain status of a doctor in the society, to educate children, to give good future and finally not to cheat and disappoint the patients who visit them with various health problems, they prescribe allopathic drugs, said one private practitioner who requested not to reveal his identity. To minimize the possible legal implications of such actions, they also prescribe some Siddha preparations and give a colour to the patients that Siddha preparations are only going to solve their problems. Many patients do hold faith without verifications.
We hope that the Union Government headed by the most revered Modiji and our most respected and affectionate Amma J Jayalalithaa, the guiding force of Tamil Nadu Government to address the issue with empathy.
For a few in the Government service (NIS, AYUSH, CCRS, CCIM etc.,) to enjoy and have all luxuries, the system should not be continued to run like this. The audible bitter truth on the psychological aspects of Siddha private practitioners who prescribe allopathic drugs is that the system is not a system of medicine. It was told once up on a time only for health and healthy living.
Dear Modiji kindly change the system and declare it as health (preventive) system at par with many paramedical sciences.
Siddha preparations can be scientifically studied for their supportive role along with allopathic drugs for the treatment of various diseases and also in the area of non communicable diseases.
Today all diabetic patients, those who suffers from obesity, coronary diseases etc, do consult nutrition and dietetic specialist besides consulting the allopathic clinicians. Similarly the Siddha system can be positioned as ‘health’ system and the Siddha preparations for support therapy.
India doesn’t need ‘through back door entered allopathic practitioners’ (with BSMS degree, acts like MBBS by prescribing allopathic drugs). Let science and scientifically proven system address the issue of treatment and cure and Siddha be a welfare system.
Dr S Ranganathan