Role of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) in AYUSH

By Avishek Majumder on March 4, 2019
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The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) is the statutory body under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 incepted in the year 1971 (Ministry of AYUSH, 2018). Furthermore, the council is responsible for monitoring all research-based activities and educational activities of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani Tibb, Sowa Rigpa, Naturopathy, and other ethnic and traditional medications. Although they form the education guidelines of Homeopathy, it does not play a role in the scrutiny or certification withdrawal. However, the main vision of the council is to be an excellent regulatory body that guides, develop and sustain a network (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2016).

The main objectives of Central Council of Indian Medicine, (2016) of the council include;

  • Prescribe minimum standards of education in Indian Systems of Medicine viz. Ayurved, Siddha, Unani Tib. and Sowa Rigpa.
  • Recommend Central Government in matters relating to recognition (inclusion or withdrawal) of medical qualifications
  • Maintain a Central Register of Indian Medicine and revise it from time to time.
  • Prescribe Standards of Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Code of Ethics to be observed by the practitioners.
  • Establish new colleges of Indian Systems of Medicine and increase intake capacity of Under-graduate, Post-graduate and start additional subjects.
  • In addition, CCIM also helps in the recognition and validation of medical qualifications granted by certain medical institutions in India.

Minimum standards of CCIM to set up AYUSH related college

The minimum standards of education involve availability of appropriate infrastructure, teaching and training facilities. However, the AYUSH college or institute must have:

  • functional college-owned hospital or healthcare centre,
  • herbal garden,
  • hospital staff,
  • teaching staff,
  • technical and other staff,
  • college council,
  • college website,
  • laboratories and,
  • fulfil the minimum construction area or requirements (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2016).

Furthermore, the hospital cum college must have patient departments, clinical laboratory and radiological investigation reports, medicines dispensing register, diet register for patients, duty roster, and birth and death certificates.

According to schedule I, the college or institute must have a proper hospital administration block and outpatient departments (OPD) with at least six to eight types OPDs that are:

  • Medicine,
  • Surgery,
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
  • Paediatrics,
  • Skin and Cosmetology,
  • Community medicine,
  • Dental ENT,
  • Varmam Therapy,
  • Casualty,
  • External therapy and,
  • in-patient with each setting having its own specified number of beds (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2017).

Subsequently, the hospital cum college institutions must have operation theatre and good ‘Panchakarma Block’ (toilet/washrooms/changing area). The number of OPDs differs in the different type of AYUSH institute. Contradictory, Ayurveda has 8 OPDs whereas Siddha and Unani have 6 OPDs, Sowa-rigpa has the only department based on male and female.

With respect to required standards of a college, it must have administrative section, lecture halls and seminar halls, library, teaching departments with mandatory dissection hall, physiology laboratory specially pathology, biochemistry and microbiology, pharmacognosy and pharmacology labs, drug testing lab, pathology lab, yoga area, tutorial room and experimental surgery, quality testing laboratory, and canteen (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2017). Lastly, the college must also have equipment and instruments required for physiology laboratory, dissection hall, pharmacognosy laboratory, and operation theatre, and tools for in-patient and out-patient examination according to the minimum standard requirements of AYUSH institutions and attached hospitals.

Standards of professional conduct, etiquette and code of ethics

The Central Council of Indian Medicine has also mentioned various professional conduct, etiquette and code of ethics for the medical practitioners. According to the professional conducts, the practitioner from AYUSH hospital cum institute must never discriminate on the basis of religion, nationality, race, caste, creed, party politics or social standing (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2017). The AYUSH specialist must have the responsibility towards appropriate prognosis of the diseases. The AYUSH has therefore jotted 10 step professional conducts along with duty of one practitioner towards another practitioner. These obligations are;

  1. The character of the practitioners of Indian medicine.
  2. Duties of practitioners of Indian medicine towards their patients.
  3. Practitioner’s responsibility.
  4. Patience, delicacy and secrecy.
  5. Prognosis.
  6. The patient must not be neglected.
  7. Upholding the honour of the profession.
  8. Engagement for an obstetric case.
  9. Practitioner as a Citizen.
  10. Public health.

However, the guidelines also indicate certain aspects with respect to the code of ethics. Lastly, the code of ethics also indicates that the practitioners must follow ethical methods of providing patients with medical reports and other documents.

Inclusion or withdrawal of medical qualifications or recognition

The Central Council of Indian Medicine holds the right to scrutinize all Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-rigpa institute cum hospitals and healthcare centres. The previously mentioned sections are the main aspects on the basis of which CCIM rejects or renews the institutional and practitioner license (Central Council of Indian Medicine, 2017). However, the withdrawal may be temporary or permanent. In the initial phases of application for the new institution, the applicant is provided with authorization and license for a period of five years but will be under scrutiny for the time period. Consequently, if there is a discrepancy in the first 150 days or in scrutiny, the 5-year registration can be withdrawn.

Implications of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act

The first amendment for Indian medicines for AYUSH was made in the year 1970, updated in the year 2006, 2012, 2013, and 2016. The amendment for Sowa Rigpa is very recent as it was introduced in the year 2015 by the Ministry of AYUSH.

The total number of all AYUSH undergraduate colleges in the year 2013 was 25507, which increased to 29101 in 2014 after the formation of the Ministry of AYUSH. Similarly, in 2013 the number of postgraduate and tertiary colleges in AYUSH was found to be 2776 and increased to 3415 in 2014. As of 2017, there are 5486 post graduate AYUSH colleges and 40151 undergraduate AYUSH colleges in India. Subsequently, in the year 2013, the total number of hospitals in India was 3167, whereas in the year 2014 the total number of AYUSH hospitals were 3605 with the advent of the Ministry of AYUSH and CCIM. In total, there are now 3943 hospitals in the year 2017. Therefore, it is implicative of the fact that the effective regulations and educational standards of AYUSH by CCIM have improved the state of AYUSH based education in India.