The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) has issued an order allowing registered practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Sowa-Rigpa to issue medical fitness certificates. Until now, only MBBS graduates or postgraduates in Ayurveda were authorised to do so. Recently, the Transport department had started approving medical fitness certificates issued by registered Ayurveda doctors for driving license.
Rakesh Sharma, president, Board of Ethics and Registration, NCISM, released the order in this regard to the commissioners of the Employees' State Insurance (ESI) Corporation, New Delhi, and Kerala on January 20.
In his order, Sharma highlighted that Ayush practitioners were considered "unauthorised" to issue the certificate by some organisations such as the ESI. The Union Ayush Ministry had then asked the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine to issue a clarification on this.
Ayush practitioners included under 'duly qualified medical practitioner'
Sharma clarified in the order that Ayush practitioners are entitled to sign or authenticate a medical certificate, or any certificate required by law to be signed or authenticated by a duly qualified medical practitioner.
He added that it was a statutory right for those who have registered under a State or National Register under Section 34 (1) (c) of the NCISM Act, 2020. Further, he mentioned that the term "duly qualified medical practitioner" shall also encapsulate the practitioners of Indian systems of medicine, and that the Medical Council of India has no regulatory control over those practicing Indian systems of medicine.
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine is a complete code in itself, which is valid across the country and deals with regulations of its practitioners, including their rights. The NCISM Act, 2020, also overrides all other general acts, Sharma said, appealing the authorities to consider practitioners of Indian systems of medicine with "credibility."
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The Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act 1970 (48 of 1970) was repealed, and all the provisions of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) came into force with effect from the June 11, 2021. Under the provisions of section 59 (2) of NCISM Act 2020, the certificate Central Government constituted the Commission and four Autonomous boards on the same day.