Ayurveda Doctors Not Entitled To Equal Pay As Allopathic Doctors: SC While Setting Aside Gujarat HC’s Order
The Supreme Court while setting aside the order passed by the Gujarat High Court has held that Ayurveda Doctors are not entitled to equal pay as Allopathic Doctors having MBBS degrees.
The Court said that both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work to be entitled to equal pay and that MBBS doctors are made to attend hundreds of patients, which is not the case with Ayurveda doctors.
The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed, “It is common knowledge that during out-patient days (OPD) in general hospitals in cities/towns, MBBS doctors are made to attend to hundreds of patients, which is not the case with Ayurved doctors. … even while recognizing the importance of Ayurved doctors and the need to promote alternative/indigenous systems of medicine, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that both categories of doctors are certainly not performing equal work to be entitled to equal pay. Hence, Issue No.2 has to be answered in favour of the appellant-State and against the respondents.”
The Bench also said that the emergency duty that allopathic doctors are capable of performing and the trauma care that they are capable of providing cannot be performed by Ayurveda practitioners.
Advocate Swati Ghildiyal appeared on behalf of the appellants while Advocates Rameshwar Prasad Goyal and Kusum Chaudhary appeared on behalf of the respondents.
In this case, a batch of appeals arose out of a common order passed by the Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court confirming the order of the Single Judge, holding that the respondents possessing a degree of BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurved in Medicine and Surgery) should be treated at par with the doctors holding MBBS degrees and that they are entitled to the benefits of the recommendations of the Tikku Pay Commission.
The Supreme Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel noted, “Allopathy doctors are required to perform emergency duties and to provide trauma care. By the very nature of the science that they practice and with the advancement of science and modern medical technology, the emergency duty that Allopathy doctors are capable of performing and the trauma care that they are capable of providing, cannot be performed by Ayurved doctors.”
The Court further noted that it is not possible for Ayurved doctors to assist surgeons performing complicated surgeries, while MBBS doctors can assist.
“We shall not be understood to mean as though one system of medicine is superior to the other. It is not our mandate nor within our competence to assess the relative merits of these two systems of medical sciences. As a matter of fact, we are conscious that the history of Ayurveda dates back to several centuries”, asserted the Court.
The Court further asserted that it does not have any doubt that every alternative system of medicine may have its pride of place in history.
“But today, the practitioners of indigenous systems of medicine do not perform complicated surgical operations. A study of Ayurved does not authorise them to perform these surgeries”, said the Court.
Accordingly, the Apex Court allowed the appeals and set aside the order of the High Court.
Cause Title- State of Gujarat & Ors. Etc. v. Dr. P.A. Bhatt & Ors. Etc.