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CCIM expert panel not in favour of bringing Ayush under common Central regulatory authority

Chennai(PB) 05 Aug, 2014: The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM)’s special expert committee meeting held in New Delhi last week to discuss the policies pertaining to healthcare plans proposed in the manifesto of the Bharatiya Janatha Party, has felt that the autonomy of the Ayush department should not be abolished and the system should not be brought under the overarching regulatory body for healthcare as envisaged in the manifesto.

The experts felt that if Ayush is brought under an umbrella organisation for regulation, it should lose its independent stance. The manifesto proposes setting up of a common central regulatory body to regulate healthcare, food and nutrition by bringing them altogether under one umbrella.

According to sources from CCIM, the central government has forwarded the healthcare proposals in the manifesto to the Ayush department for detailed discussion and review, for that the CCIM has called a special meeting of Ayush experts. The expert committee was attended by selected experts from Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani in addition to the executive committee members of the CCIM. But the special committee did not favour the idea of bringing Ayush system under an overarching body as the experts felt that once it was brought under a super controlling authority, it will lose its identity and impede its overall growth. Therefore, the special panel of experts suggested for several measures in place to strengthen the Ayush system by utilising modern technologies.

The experts who attended as special invitees in the meeting made suggestions for expanding Indian systems, especially Ayurveda and Siddha, to the north eastern parts of the country where awareness about these traditional medicines is poor among the common public and facilities for treatment are also nil. Members of the CCIM from north eastern states also wanted propagation of Ayurveda and Siddha in their states. The special committee at last decided to request the union government to initiate steps for establishing Ayurveda and Siddha hospitals in those states where they are not started so far.

The key points in the manifesto were to strengthen the healthcare system by making it not only affordable and available to all, but also effective. It also talked of modernising government hospitals in the country and upgrades their infrastructure and technologies. The agenda included proposal for reorganising ministry of health & family welfare (MoH&FW) in order to converge various departments dealing in healthcare, food and nutrition and pharmaceuticals for effective delivery of healthcare services.

The manifesto revealed the government’s commitment to increase public investment to promote yoga and Ayush systems. It said there are plans to start integrated courses for Indian systems of medicine (ISM) and modern science and ayurgenomics. Vigorous programmes will be launched to standardise and validate the ayurvedic medicines also.

Representing Siddha system, Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR), Chennai, Dr V Bhanumathi, Government Siddha Medical College, Chennai and Dr Arul Amuthan from Manipal College of Pharmacy attended the expert committee meeting.

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