All the practitioners of modern allopathic medicine, Indian systems of medicines, as well as dentists who are recognised by the central government can use the prefix “Dr” in the country, Minister of State (Health), Anupriya Patel said in the parliament recently.
The minister was responding to a question raised in the parliament asking whether the persons holding BAMS, BHMS, BUMS, BSMS, BDS, BYNS and MBBS degrees are allowed to prefix ‘Dr’ before their name.
Clarifying the position, the minister said the Union government had constituted a standing committee of experts under the chairmanship of Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research to consider and give its recommendations on the efficacy and merits of various streams of alternative medicine.
Among the various recommendations, the expert committee suggested that the term ‘doctor’ should be used only by practitioners of a system of medicine recognized by the government of India. The recommendations were accepted by the government.
The Clause 1.4.2 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 which is applicable for the medical practitioners, provides that the physicians shall display as suffix to their names only recognized medical degrees or such certificates/diplomas and membership/honours which confer professional knowledge or recognizes any exemplary qualification/achievements.
Similar provisions are also available under the Revised Dentists (Code of Ethics) Regulations, 2014 applicable for the Dentists, according to the minister.
Earlier, a parliamentary committee recommended that the AYUSH Practitioners should be called Vaidya, Vaidyaraj, Hakim etc. but not “doctors”.