Ayurvedic practitioners not entitled to same pay as MBBS doctors: SC

The court believes that both groups of doctors do not have the same workload and responsibilities


According to a ruling by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, practitioners of alternative medicine like Ayurveda cannot receive the same pay as allopathic doctors since they do not perform emergency duties or complex surgeries.

The Court heard multiple appeals contesting a 2012 decision made by the Gujarat High Court which claimed that Ayurvedic practitioners should receive equal treatment to doctors with MBBS degrees.

Overturning on the decision, the Supreme Court stated that Ayurvedic practitioners are unable to perform emergency duties or provide trauma care like allopathic doctors can. The panel consisting of Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal acknowledged the significance of Ayurvedic practitioners and advocating for the promotion of alternative or indigenous medical systems, however, the panel stated that they cannot ignore the fact that both groups of doctors do not perform the same tasks and therefore should not receive equal pay.

The panel stated that allopathic doctors have the responsibility of performing emergency duties and providing trauma care. Additionally, due to the nature of their medical practice and the advancements in modern medical technology, allopathic doctors can perform emergency duties and provide trauma care that Ayurvedic practitioners are unable to do. The court also stated that Ayurvedic practitioners cannot assist surgeons in performing complex surgeries, and other procedures such as post-mortem or autopsy.

The Supreme Court clarified that it is not suggesting that one system of medicine is better than the other, neither do they have authority to compare and evaluate the merits of the different medical systems. However, they pointed out that Ayurvedic practitioners are not trained to perform complex surgeries or conduct autopsies. Therefore, they cannot be given the same pay as allopathic doctors who are trained to perform such tasks.

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