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Ramdev bitter pill for doctors

The Telegraph, India
Feb. 27, 2006
Arun Kumar Thakur
www.telegraphindia.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday March 3, 2006

Medicos faced with patients all praise for yoga and questioning allopathic cure after baba’s camp

Ranchi, Feb. 27: Baba Ramdev has left behind thousands of yoga converts. And, scores of bitter doctors.

The medical fraternity is confronted with patients mesmerised by the yoga guru’s prescriptions and ready to challenge allopathic treatment.

Take the example of an elderly lady with a heart ailment, who visited her physician on Sunday with a unique problem. She showed a prescription written by one of Ramdev’s ayurvedic doctors. A dozen ayurvedic medicines, worth more than Rs 800, were prescribed for her.

Her simple query to the physician was: ‘Should I follow this and abandon your prescription?’ The doctor smiled and advised her to play safe and not abandon the treatment she was undergoing.

Later in the evening, at a social get-together, the doctors were livid because some of their peers had attended the baba’s yoga camp. ‘Participation by some doctors was in a way endorsement of what the baba is preaching,’ said one of them.

IMA national president-elect Ajay Kumar, who was here for a social function, said: ‘What the baba is doing can be described as serving classical music as pop. His comments on the medical fraternity cannot be tolerated. I will ask the IMA’s Ranchi unit why its delegation went to see the baba.’

Kumar claimed medicines being sold by Ramdev’s ayurvedic doctors do not have a price tag, do not display the ingredients and other technical details that are a must for drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.

The 16-member IMA delegation, which went to meet Ramdev, was led by its Ranchi unit president B.M.K. Sinha. ‘We felt we had a moral responsibility towards our patients. Hence, we met the baba and requested him that he should not advise his followers to abandon the medicines they were already taking, because many patients had ended up with complications. One of them even died a few days ago,’ said Sinha.

The person who died was a patient of hypertension. A doctor, who was treating him, said the person stopped taking medicines after learning pranayam. He suffered a paralytic stroke from which he never recovered.

Sinha said the yoga guru assured him he never advised people to stop taking medicines. ‘We told the baba that even in the West, the benefits of yoga have been recognised. But it is considered a supplement of allopathic treatment. However, some people here are overwhelmed and are convinced that every disease, even cancer, can be cured by yoga and they stop taking medicines. This has proved to be harmful,’ he said.

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