The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that homeopathic physicians can prescribe medications for the prophylaxis, amelioration and mitigation of COVID-19 patients and the prescription should only be provided by institutionally qualified doctors.
The supreme court has said that when the same statutory rules prohibit advertising, there is no opportunity for homeopathic doctors to advertise their expertise to treat COVID-19 disease.
He said homeopathy is contemplated to be used in the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19, as evidenced by the advice and guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).
The supreme court said homeopathic doctors must follow the notice dated March 6, issued by the AYUSH ministry, as well as the guidelines for homeopathic doctors for COVID-19 issued by the AYUSH ministry.
A bench of judges Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah said: “When scientists around the world are engaged in research to discover the appropriate medicine / vaccine for COVID-19, there is no reason to make any such observation as contained in with regard to homeopathic doctors. Homeopathy does not cure the disease, but cures the sick “.
He stated that the guidelines of the AYUSH Ministry specifically allow the use of homeopathy to follow three ways: preventive and prophylactic; Management of symptoms of COVID-19-like disease and additional interventions to conventional care.
He said the guidelines make it clear that homeopathy has been provided by the ministry as a therapeutic aid.
The bench in its verdict said the “guidelines refer to homeopathic medicines as medicines for prophylaxis, improvement and mitigation.”
The guidelines, however, specifically state that “prescribing should only be provided by institutionally qualified professionals”.
The Supreme Court said it is clear from the notice of March 6, 2020 and the specific position of the AYUSH Ministry that homeopathic doctors are not limited to prescribing homeopathic medicines only as a booster of immunity.
It said: “However, we clarify that what is allowed for homeopathic doctors in reference to symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients is already regulated by the aforementioned guidelines.”
The court said that the Kerala High Court in its August 21 verdict did not fully understand the guidelines of March 6 and took a narrow view of the guidelines and made observations to take appropriate action against homeopathic doctors, who they cannot be approved.
The supreme court said there was no occasion for the High Court to make observations that if an AYUSH qualified physician advertises or prescribes drugs or medicines, as a cure for COVID-19 disease, except as prescribed in the letter dated March 6, is open to authorities to take appropriate action under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
He said the High Court, however, is right in its observation that no doctor can claim they can cure COVID-19 and there is no such claim in other therapies including allopathy.
“The High Court is right in observing that no request for treatment can be made in Homeopathy. Homeopathy is intended to be used in the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19, as evidenced by the advice and guidelines issued by the Ministry of the AYUSH as noted above, “said the bench.
The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on December 1 on an appeal filed by Dr. AKB Sadbhavana Mission School of Homeo Pharmacy disputed the High Court order which had stated that AYUSH doctors can prescribe government-approved mixtures and tablets only as booster of immunity for COVID-19.
The Center had told the Supreme Court that it was allowed to prescribe additional medicines allowed by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) to COVID positive patients.
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