AMAI urges Kerala govt to give due importance to Ayurveda in state health policy

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AMAI urges Kerala govt to give due importance to Ayurveda in state health policy

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Requesting that Dr Sam Pitroda’s proposal for an ‘Ayurveda mission’ in Kerala should be given prominence in the state’s new health policy, the Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI) has given a representation to the government of Kerala urging it to consider positive steps for the growth and promotion of the state’s indigenous healing system.

The Association pointed out that the draft health policy released by the Kerala government does not take a comprehensive approach in the utilisation of total health infrastructure available in the state as envisaged by the national health policy and the central government policy on Ayush.

In the memorandum submitted to the chief minister, Dr Rejith Anand, general secretary of the association said the draft health policy 2013 deals only with the modern medicine and does not give due importance to other recognised treatment systems including Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of Kerala.

AMAI says that with a view to revive Ayush systems, government of India started Ayush department which brought revolutionary changes in ayurvedic medical field. Several states in India followed the path of the union government by launching separate departments for Ayush and promoted the Indian system of treatments through healing and researches. It is high time a department of Ayush started in Kerala.

According to Dr Rejith, the major drawback of the Kerala health policy is that it lacks integration with national level health programmes. “This draft does not mention anything about the co-location of Ayush systems which is a major component in the national policy on Ayush systems. Mainstreaming of Ayush through National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has been one of the thrust areas to improve the quality and outreach of health care and attain integration of health services. The public health facilities (PHC, CHC, district hospitals) have been supported for co location of Ayush doctors. The central Ayush department has also directed to align its programs and policies with the national health outcome goals of reducing IMR, MMR, TFR, malnutrition, anaemia, population control and child sex ratio etc.,” said he.

The Association wanted the government to include Ayurveda doctors in all national health campaigns conducted by national agencies like Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). The success of Kollam model tie up of AMAI and RNTCP is a proof of this and can be implemented in national level to achieve the goal of such projects. Government can utilise the underutilised infrastructure of other systems in the state. As all the medical courses (MBBS, BAMS, BHMS, etc.) are having same syllabus regarding public health, effective implementation and better reach out of each programme can be obtained if professionals from other systems of medicine are also engaged in the process, they suggested.

Ayurveda is well known for public health management and many practices are time tested and proven by scientific validation. Kerala, being the mother land of Ayurveda, the health policy should aim at developing a Kerala model of Public Health Management System. To ensure this Ayush doctors should be included in the public health cadre and health protection agency.

Similarly, a master plan has to be devised and implemented to modernize all ISM hospitals and dispensaries in the state. As people are very much aware of all clinical specialties of Ayurveda, speciality clinics should be started in all hospitals. Currently, pay wards are available only in a few hospitals. So, establishing more such facilities will bring more income to the hospitals.

Kerala needs a comprehensive research centre for Ayurveda. The academic centres are confined to PG level researches only. The manufacturing companies concentrate on a minimum level and product centric research activities only. The proposed Ayurveda research university can be developed as a centre for coordinating research activities with the authority to start and approve campus centres, the ayurvedic doctors opined.