Pradeep Pattanayak

In August 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that ‘AYUSH doctors are equally recognised as Allopathic doctors’. But, are AYUSH doctors really getting what they deserve? This question is now being asked after several AYUSH doctors brought some serious allegations against a senior official in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.

According to reports, on March 6, around 32 AYUSH doctors, both Co-located and RBSK, joined the Kandhamal District Headquarters Hospital (DHH). The doctors alleged that the district programme manager (DPM) at the DHH mistreated and harassed them. 

The DPM allegedly said that he wouldn’t consider them (AYUSH doctors) as doctors and that they were there for bringing water bottles for him and opening and closing his office door.
The aggrieved doctors also alleged that the DPM threatened to terminate them all if they would go against him. 

Taking the DPM’s behaviour as an affront to them, the AYUSH doctors reportedly took the matter up with the chief district medical officer (CDMO) Dr Manoj Kumar Upadhyay and also wrote a confidential letter to the district Collector. 

Now, over a week has passed since the AYUSH doctors complained about the matter to the CDMO and the District Collector, but no action has so far been allegedly taken against the DPM.
“We are no longer at the Kandhamal DHH. We have been sent to our places of posting. The CDMO had promised to look into the matter. But we are yet to be contacted for the enquiry. Nothing has been done from the Collector’s end as well,” alleged an AYUSH doctor on the condition of anonymity.

However, CDMO Dr Upadhyay could not be contacted for his comment on the allegations.

Notably, the Modi government transformed the department of AYUSH into the Ministry of AYUSH in 2014 considering its importance in developing education, research and propagation of the traditional medicine system in India.