(G.N.S) Dt. 20
In a bid to reconcile allopathic and alternative systems of medicines, and generating faith in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) treatments, a parliamentary panel has recommended these modules be included in MBBS courses and vice-versa.
The parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare pointed out that it is often seen that practitioners of modern system of medicine do not have much faith in AYUSH system and often question their credibility and scientific validation. This is despite the known fact that India has been a repository of knowledge of traditional systems of medicine since ages.
“The Committee, accordingly, recommends to the ministry to take concrete steps in introducing modules of modern system of medicine in the curriculum and pursue the ministry of health and family welfare for introducing similar modules of AYUSH systems of medicines in their MBBS course,” said the committee in its report tabled in Parliament last week.
The committee believed that such an integrated approach towards both systems of medicine would help in understanding the strengths of each system of medicine and also increase the credibility of AYUSH systems of medicine.
“The need of the hour is to streamline the AYUSH systems of medicine by standardization and quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy drugs and improving the quality of education and healthcare services through AYUSH,” the report said.
“At the same time, the curricula of both modern systems of medicine and AYUSH system need to be changed in such a way to strive for integration in the study of medical education itself followed by cross system referrals and integrated healthcare services,” it said.
Of late, for promoting alternative systems of medicines, the ministry of health and family welfare and ministry of AYUSH stated co-locating the AYUSH facilities at public health centres (PHC), community health centres (CHC) and district hospitals. The committee also noted that AYUSH doctors are also participating in the National Health Programme and Public Health Outreach Activities and research activities undertaken to facilitate integration of Ayurveda and allopathic systems of medicine.
A study done by the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, published in PLOS One journal in 2017, only 6.9% of all patients who had sought outpatient care used AYUSH services, 3.5% used Indian systems of medicine such as Unani and Siddha, and 3% used homeopathy. The study was based on a nationally representative health survey 2014 with the total sample size of 65,932 households (36,480 rural and 29,452 urban) comprising of 333,104 individuals (189,573 rural and 143,531 urban).
“This is consistent with the fact that use of allopathy treatment is more common and that there is hardly any differentials in use pattern across rural and urban India. Also, allopathy care accounted for over 90% of outpatient care across key socioeconomic and demographic variables,” the study said. “Overall AYUSH utilization in India (about 7% of outpatient care) appears to be on the lower side when compared to some of the previous estimates or general perceptions,” it further said.
The study found that use of AYUSH among middle-income households was lower when compared with poorer and richer households. AYUSH care utilization was higher among patients with chronic diseases and also for treating skin-related and musculo-skeletal ailments, the study observed.
(G.N.S) Dt. 20