New Delhi: As a part of Prime Minister’s health for all scheme, Ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) is planning to set up a network of 1.2 lakh primary health clinics across the country.
Due to lack of facilities and inaccessible locations have made MBBS doctors reluctant to work in rural areas. As there are 1.2 villages which lack health care centres, the ministry plans to prepare a fleet of ayurvedic doctors to fill these gaps. The ministry in a report prepared has suggested of setting up ayurveda colleges across the country.
A few months after getting a ministry status in November 2014, a task force under National Ayush mission was constituted with Dr HR Nagendra of S Vyasa Yoga University, Bengaluru as head, to suggest ways for making Ayush accessible to the rural India. The committee was to prepare a report to promote ayurveda and other Indian forms of medicine and make health care accessible to rural population.
Soon after the International Yoga Day celebration last year, PMO had written to the ministry to regulate yoga and naturopathy as formal courses. “It was recommended that a formal syllabus be drafted andrecognised for yoga and naturopathy. We are working on it. The project is in the pipeline. Uniform guidelines will be announced soon,” said a member of the committee.
Currently, India has about 305 ayurveda colleges that produce 12,265 graduates each year. Besides 1,851 unani and 420 siddha graduates pass out every year. Unlike the allopathic practitioners, this sector is comparatively less organised. But the ministry has now proposed to integrate it into the mainstream. “Our graduates are well versed with anatomy and human physiology. If they are taught basic surgical processes, they can work very well in the primary health care, community health care and district health care center. They can also work to provide emergency medical solutions. A course module needs to be designed for the ayurveda practitioners, where they can earn credits by doing these courses,” said a member of the committee. The committee also feels that the unani practitioners can also be trained for this task.
While the government has made it mandatory for all MBBS practitioners to serve in a rural posting for a year, the doctors have found an escape route. In this scenario to ensure that basic primary healthcare facility reaches every village of this country, the ministry is looking up to Ayush practitioners.
The task force report also insist on encouraging research in the Indian forms of medicines. “Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy has a direct connect with our lifestyle. Though we have a rich history andample literature, our research has failed to keep pace with our changing lifestyle. We have insisted on encouraging research work,” said a member of the Central Council of Indian Medicine.
Sources in the ministry informed that the report is currently being vetted by Niti Ayog. “We are hoping that Ayush will get a boost in the upcoming budget,” said a practitioner, who was a part of the 20 member committee.