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Policy Matters

CIAS urges govt to include Ayush streams in NCHRH Bill

Chennai (PB) : The Centre for Integration of Ayush Systems (CIAS), a forum constituted by the leaders of the professional organizations of Indian System of Medicines in Kerala, has strongly condemned the union government for its move to exclude Ayush streams from the National Commission for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) Bill which is waiting for passage in the Rajya Sabha currently.

The Bill will shortly come to the consideration of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Health & Family Welfare.

Foreseeing a setback to the growth of the systems in future if the Bill is passed in its present form, the CIAS demanded to the central government to incorporate the Ayush streams (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy and Naturopathy) into the NCHRH Bill.

In a memorandum to the chairman of the Standing Committee of Parliamentary Affairs for Health and Family Welfare, CIAS has urged the government to make changes in the draft bill and  include Ayush in order to  accommodate the professionals in the field into the classified disciplines among modern medicines, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and para-medicals.

According to the professional body, the exclusion of Ayush streams would degenerate the growth and benefit of the country’s traditional methods of treatment. The traditional and alternative medicines play a major role in the national healthcare delivery of India because of its easy access, affordability and cost effectiveness. More than 30 per cent of the Indian population seeks traditional, complementary and alternative systems for their health needs. This massive acceptance of Indian medicines emphasizes the need to accommodate Ayush streams into the larger umbrella of healthcare academics and its standardization envisioned under NCHRH.

In the representation it is said that the fundamental agenda of healthcare delivery such as prevention, promotion, cure, preservation of health and rehabilitation is grossly compromised by excluding Ayush from common fronts of healthcare related HR legislation and its standardization. CIAS feels that the credibility of the traditional medicines will be at stake if it is excluded from the Bill. If researches and studies are to be continued in future, the NCHRH should be inclusive of Ayush systems and brought under one umbrella. Further, the Ayush exclusion from NCHRH would permanently close doors for inter disciplinary education in healthcare and integrated approaches, which is a priority area of development in healthcare academics.

The memorandum to the parliamentary committee says that the NCHRH is constituted to regulate about 5000 health sciences higher education colleges among the approximately 22000 total higher education colleges in our country. These 5000 institutions are spread under the health science universities, a few Ayush universities and in certain places under the regional universities. Out of these 5000 health sciences institutions, Ayush institutions come around 500 only. So there is no need of a separate Commission or Bill to regulate these 500 institutions. The efforts and the infrastructure to build up a separate Commission for 500 Ayush institutions will become monotonous.

The physicians of Indian systems observed that in USA and Europe, Ayush was part and parcel of their curricula under integrative medicine. In view of this, inclusion of Ayush in NCHRH is necessary in the national healthcare, education and research strategy.

Dr Vijayan Nangelil (Ayurveda) has been made the chairman of the association and Dr Sreevals G Menon (Homoeopathy) the general convener. Dr Induchoodan (Ayurveda), Dr Stanly Johns (Siddha), Dr K R Jayakumar (Naturopathy) and Dr K T Ajmal (Unani) are the conveners.

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