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Date posted: January 18, 2012

The observation that the AYUSH  is conspicuously absent from the proposed “National Commission for Human Resources for Health Act 2011′ has immensely hurt the AYUSH and Homoeopathic community across the nation very deep.

In order to have wider consultations, the Parliamentary Standing Committee has decided to invite written memorandum containing suggestions /views /comment of individuals /institutions / organizations interested in the subject matter of the Bill.

Send your comments and suggestions before 08.02.2012   Email: rs-chfw@sansad.nic.in  or to Smt.Arpna Mendiratta, Joint Director, Room No.222, Rajjay Sabha Secretariat, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 [Tel: 23035428 (o), Fax.: 230120007.

Read carefully the following facts or points while submitting the memorandum

In today’s era, common platforms on standards of healthcare are most vital than inefficient compartments who have different priorities and end up competing or fighting against each other by utilizing the national economy. 

Current Scenario of Health Universities in India
We have 14 Health Universities across the nation as of now with all of them accommodating AYUSH streams well without any separation or partiality exercised. These Health universities offers BHMS, BAMS, BSMS, BUMS, BNYS, MD Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Siddha etc. as the human resources for AYUSH sector. In the rest few places the regional universities accommodate them effectively. When we have no AYUSH university to date and after trashing the idea to have one as impractical, how could we ever think of a bill acting as a regulatory body for AYUSH colleges which is dealt through the Health Universities peacefully and efficiently in 14 states as of now…?

AYUSH-Mainstream Coexisting platforms
In NRHM, Clinical Establishment Act & in similar platforms AYUSH coexist effectively with the mainstream medicine and in such joint platforms we see same standards effectively met and maintained until today.

AYUSH contribution in National Healthcare Delivery
30% of Indian population seek traditional, complementary and alternative medicines for their health needs. This massive fraction mean a genuine need for accommodating AYUSH into the umbrella of healthcare academics standardization. AYUSH system effectively contribute in National Healthcare delivery of India because of its easy access, affordability and cost-effectiveness.

WHO mandate compromised ??
When we follow WHO on the basic health definition and we act accordingly, where complementary medicines are to be encouraged along with mainstream in totality, are we looking at axing them and separating them to different entities and standards to be separately dealt in their academic standards related to human resources which could seriously interfere with quality.

Common Ministry factor
When H & FW Ministry takes care of this entire stream of healthcare like AYUSH, Dept. of Health Research, Childcare etc & many more under the same umbrella, why do we think we need separate bills to diversify standards and operations when it comes to HR related to AYUSH.

Example of other streams under NCHR
One would rightly perceive the ridiculous developments related to AYUSH exclusion when we take examples of NCHR (National Council of Human Resources) which take care of Arts, Science, Commerce etc and all under the same umbrella. Can one imagine Science desiring to be excluded due to its nature of differences from others like a senior doctor desired AYUSH be separated due to nature.

It would be, therefore a colossal mistake to be excluded from those of common healthcare nature due to sheer technical differences in treatment/intervention strategies, definition and understanding of diseases and pharmacological application which is most expected. The nature of differences when it comes to paramedics and nursing is interestingly much more when compared to that of AYUSH. The paramedics and their services as contributions from pure science streams and biotechnology is equally useful and of a crucial need for AYUSH streams for diagnosis, assessments, as prognostic criteria etc.

The basic Agenda of Healthcare delivery compromised!!
The fundamental agenda of Healthcare delivery being prevention, promotion, curative and preservation gets grossly compromised by disengaging AYUSH streams from common fronts of Healthcare related HR legislation and its standardization. One can be more than certain that most of the AYUSH streams perfectly fall in line with these priorities and fundamentals in healthcare delivery efficiently.

The actual scenario at the level of Higher education scenario in India
Here we see that NCHRH is to with approximately 500 Health sciences higher education colleges among the 22000 total colleges in the nation. They are spread under the Health sciences universities and in places they have not emerged they are under the regional universities.

Around 22000 higher education institutions in India, in health around 5000. 300+ medical, 300+ dental, 1000+ pharmacy, 1300+ nursing, around 1000 paramedical institutions, plus 500+ AYUSH institutions. Therefore the rest 17000 diverse streams are dealt by a single council, NCHR.

We here talk about a separate bill for another 500 colleges under AYUSH sector put togeher. Can’t we imagine the effort and the infrastructure build up of such a council for this cause???

Single Umbrella advantage
Like in the case of Health Universities where a single umbrella of statutory control and separate regulations depending on guidelines from their respective councils are followed, the same would prove the most effective at the highermost bodies as the proposed central regulatory council in the form of NCHRH. The exclusion of AYUSH was totally unexpected and leaves one worried about the hidden priorities and conspiracy that has helped the exclusion emerge from.no where.

Common front exposure & Inter disciplinary Research
Such vital exposures and research could be facilitated effectively only when the NCHRH is inclusive of AYUSH stream.

Single Standards in past & different now ??
The nation, when we primarily defined healthcare academic pattern for doctors had single fixed standards instead of variable time spans on 5 1/2 year MBBS, BHMS, BAMS, BUMS, BNMS graduations and 3 year MD in certain streams and at this juncture interestingly look at different standards on Healthcare related HR apex council formation.

We always need single standards on healthcare graduation and postgraduation and the respective national council of each would define the requirement of the respective standard depending on the stream. It would be much disorganized to have variable bodies tackling standards and they would alienate from each other in time and end as discrete entities which is grossly unfortunate when it comes to standardization in Healthcare academics.

Integrated education in Healthcare
The AYUSH exclusion from NCHRH would permanently close doors for Integrated education in Healthcare which is ‘the need of the hour’ and an extremely prioritized area of development of Healthcare academics. This could largely curb the ‘self-integration’ done by smart patients by availing themselves multiple streams of healthcare same time.

A new nomenclature round the corner?
How sure are we (AYUSH Doctors) that once NCHRH bill is passed, after the Healthcare Professional, Medicine and National Council is defined in the bill, we would still retain the status of Healthcare Professional and would not be forced to call ourselves or name us as AYUSH Healthcare Professional legally with implications from bill where key terms are well defined. Or would there be clauses that they would be reused in same potential in forthcoming AYUSH bill?

How sure are we that the next in line is not some minor future amendment based on this well-defined powerful bill, where AYUSH doctors are to remove Dr in front of their name and use Vaid(Ayurved), H (Homoeopath), N(Naturopathy), S (Siddha), U (Unani) etc. Let’s know that there could have been a detail conspiracy to get AYUSH out of the bill and the AYUSH doctors in lead role are yet to be convinced. How unfortunate!!!!

Academic excellence of candidates Vs Actual consideration
Considering the fact that the students who approach the alternative and complementary streams of medicine for qualifications are mostly from backgrounds of academic excellence running very close or better to those in modern medicine streams. It’s unfortunate that these candidates who have qualified themselves through the standard tenure of medical and academic training on common fronts are treated and diversified even worser than the allied health professionals in nursing, pharma & paramedical streams when it is about excluding them from mainstream HR bodies in Healthcare envisioned through this bill. Unfortunate indeed..!

Intolerance to minorities on Healthcare streams less valued and represented at par with national HR strategies in Healthcare

The nation, as an agenda, when it came to every other front, be it religion, caste or geographical representations w.r.t states and UT’s has always adopted the strategy to preserve the priorities of minority groups and their salient interests and has always worked on bringing them at par to the mainstream and in forefront. When it came to Healthcare, do we use this opportunity to sideline them and diversify them into a standalone group totally aware that an independent survival would be most impractical thereby getting them self-extinguished than help them adapt and easen their plight into mainstreaming thereby achieving the mandate of WHO in case of alternative & complementary medicines. Are we aiming at forming second class healthcare professionals on a national front by this exclusion and a separate legislation for them?

International Scenario
In the present scenario of medical education in USA and Europe , AYUSH is the part and parcel of their curricula under Integrative Medicine, in view of this inclusion of AYUSH in NCHRH is worthy in the National Health care, Education and Research strategy.

Funding for AYUSH Human Resources initiative
Are we sure we would be able to retain the 20% funding done for the AYUSH stream among the Health University institutions to the same scale once the new AYUSH HR bill is through. We may see a steep fall in funding as we see immense cuts on AYUSH related budgeting at present. And how would such poorly funded infrastructure be?? Would it help a prestigious AYUSH to rise standing alone or turn a sheer insignificant mockery???

I therefore appeal to all my friends on AYUSH to have a detail review of the matter and do their very best to contribute to this unfortunate development where is AYUSH is getting excluded from NCHRH.

We request you to propose changes on the draft bill and to include AYUSH in its fullest form to the NCHRH bill and thereby accommodating AYUSH professionals into the classified disciplines among modern medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy & paramedical, thereby accommodating CCH & CCIM into this bill among the National Councils.

I am sure that we can do our very best until Feb 8th by intimating our mandate to the standing committee. The draft bill is attached for further study.

Yours on AYUSH front

Dr Sreevals G Menon
National Secretary IHMS
Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association
www.ihma.in

Download the draft Bill of National Commission for Human Resources for Health :www.similima.com/pdf/nchrh-bill-2011.pdf

A separate council for AYUSH- Is it beneficial to Homeopathy?
http://www.similima.com/a-separate-council-for-ayush-is-it-beneficial-to-homeopathy

National Commission for HR for Health – Submit memorandums
http://www.similima.com/national-commission-for-hr-for-health-submit-memorandums

Comments

4 Responses so far.

  1. Prof. Ram Harsh Singh says:

    I have read the proposed Rajya Sabha BiII and read the divergent views of several colleagues. The present bill does not include AYUSH, reasons may be many. I dont think the Govt and bill drafting team were so kind to AYUSH sector that they excluded it to protect it from being treated as a second rate system and to protect us from humiliation as said by some colleagues. The reasons are much more deeper.The prima facie reason is that the policy makers dont care for AYUSH, as they thing that it is not important.I have drawn this conclusion from recent long drawn debate in planning commission 12th FYP steering committee on the issue of computing the National Doctor : Population ratio where till last moment attempts were made to keep AYUSH doctors out of computing the crucial ratio.Many Advisers continued to struggle to remove Ayush till the Chairperson overruled the objection.It is really disappointing that on one hand the Govt.swears by the commitment of integration and mainstreaming of AYUSH and sharply on the other hand acts diagonally opposite, and ignores even the basic issues.

    The question whether there should one unified composite act or there should be a separate act for AYUSH needs critical debate to examine the pros and cons.Every issue has pros and cons, but one has to weigh the balance. Presently we have a separate CCIM act. If we are complacent with such sick freedom there is no need of thinking any thing else, let CCIM / CCH continue.But majority of AYUSH fraternity feels that every thing is not in order and there is a need of major reform. But reform in such matters does not mean mere Governmentalization of autonomous organisations alone,there are other ways too.Another issue is that why AYUSH should not be the part of Health sector Human Resource Development Commission, if Ayush is also Health care sector. Thinking of a separate bill is based on underlying thought of many policy makers who believe that Ayush, in their narrow belief, is not a health science ,it is just a tradition.i It is not all their fault, they gathered the impression from what they see day today that Ayush sector has remained weak and sick all these days, why is it so,is again a serious issue to be debated. I believe we have to rise to the occasion and try to demonstrate (not merely claim) that Ayush is rationally capable to help the people in national health care strategies.

    Sincerely Yours and with Best Regards
    Prof. Ram Harsh Singh
    Professor Emeritus
    Faculty of Ayurveda
    Banaras Hindu University

  2. Darshan Shankar says:

    Dear all,
    It is evident that healthcare in India today is pluralistic. It certainly will be more so tomorrow . Given this pluralistic scenario from both the regulator’s and consumer’s point of view it is wise to have all medical knowledge systems under one roof.

    There should therefore be, under one single medical act, suitably designed administrative arrangements in the form of sub-councils for regulating different systems and separate sections in the national and state medical register for registering licensed practitioners.

    There should also be created provisions in the act for encouraging ‘ethical’ cooperation especially in the context of health research and health services between the various medical knowledge systems.(this is already happening in research and more recently under NRHM in health services)

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