AYUSH medicos don role of main docs

Two years ago, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) had devised a plan by which Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) doctors were to work as helpers to MBBS doctors at Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in villages. But because of the shortage of MBBS doctors in rural areas, AYUSH doctors are forced to function as main doctors at these centres. As per the recent data, over 428 ayurvedic doctors and 228 homeopathic doctors are recruited against 647 MBBS doctors at the state's 1,080 PHCs under the NRHM's AYUSH project.

At 76 PHCs in Vadodara district, over 43 AYUSH doctors are recruited against 51 MBBS doctors. The inability to post MBBS doctors at rural centres has made the AYUSH doctors take charge of the entire unit.

As per the NRHM guidelines, AYUSH doctors were recruited for

supervising the national healthcare programmes in villages and give preventive medicines.

They were to dispense medicines to control communicable diseases and vector and water borne diseases, supervise tuberculosis cases and work for decreasing maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Instead, now AYUSH doctors are required to handle not only routine treatment but also complicated and emergency cases at the PHCs.

While the PHC at Pandu village in Savli does not have any MBBS doctor for past two years, over 525 deliveries were carried out at the PHC by an AYUSH doctor.

"The nearest health care unit having an MBBS doctor is the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Savli village which is very far from here. With the pregnant women coming at the last moment, immediate deliveries are to be conducted," said Jyotsna Jadav, an AYUSH worker in Savli taluka.

She said though critical cases are sent to the CHC, in emergency complicated cases have also been handled here as well," said Jadav.

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