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Date posted: December 10, 2012

Of late, the AYUSH branch of healing practices, has been receiving a lot of attention and recognition, from the Government as well as from the industry, with integrated cure being perceived as a way forward to resolve the lack of healthcare resource in India. Usha Sharma looks into the actions being taken to revolutionise the AYUSH systems

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad has called for bridging the gaps in healthcare with inherent strengths, holistic approach and wide range of remedies of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH). However, it has also been seen that the AYUSH practitioners are opting to prescribe allopathic medicines which in turn has triggered a massive ethical debate.

Recently, there was a hue and cry whether AYUSH practitioners should be allowed to practice allopathy or not. While one part of the industry stresses that doing so is unethical and violating the law, the other side argues that the acute shortage of qualified doctors in India can be mitigated by allowing AYUSH practitioners to prescribe allopathy medicine if there is need.

  • The reasons for practising allopathy by AYUSH practitioners are varied.
  • Lack of MBBS doctors in rural areas
  • Since BHMS and BAMS doctors have basic understanding and knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology they prescribe allopathic medicines.
  • Non availability of traditional medicines
  • Need for integrated cure

Recognising the need for the enhanced integration of AYUSH into the mainstream healthcare delivery system, there has been some major changes in the AYUSH curriculum

Government’s initiative
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health, announced that three more institutes, namely All India Institute of Ayurveda, North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy and North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine are expected to be functional in the current year.

Future plans for AYUSH
AYUSH has grown significantly over the Five Year Plans, many new initiatives are proposed in the 12th five-year plan to shape the development of AYUSH, including flexi-funding for main streaming of AYUSH activities in the states like collocation of AYUSH facilities in PHCs, CHCs and district hospitals. Global trends indicate that the natural medicine is going to be preferred resort of healthcare for chronic lifestyle and geriatric disorders and Indian systems of medicine can play a significant role in tackling emerging health problems.

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