The Indian Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced a host of new initiatives being considered for AYUSH sector in the XIIth Plan subject to availability of funds. The Minister was speaking at the Inaugural Function of the 66TH World Homeopathic Congress organised in New Delhi today.
Shri Azad said that more stress will be given in the XIIth Plan for Integration of AYUSH systems in health care delivery and their incorporation in National Health Programmes through co-locating such facilities with our sub-centres and primary health care centres.
Speaking about the new initiatives being considered for XIIth Plan, Shri Azad said a National Commission for Human Resource in AYUSH will be set up to undertake a comprehensive work force study and formulate action plans for inter sectoral co-ordination. It is also proposed to set up Referral hospitals in eight National Institutes to provide world class treatment facilities with National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation for secondary and tertiary level health care along with Research and Quality Control Laboratories in these Institutes to expand the quality testing facilities in the country for ASU&H products as well as promoting research and training activities at institutional level, he said. Five Hi-Tech Quality Control Labs would be set up under the Research Councils at regional levels with National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation to expand the quality control to the highest standards, Shri Azad informed. A National Institute of Medicinal Plants is envisaged, which would provide training facilities, demonstration at site, raw materials processing and testing facilities and drugs repository. It is also proposed to have a Central Drugs Controller for AYUSH drugs to facilitate standardization of ASU products and effective enforcement of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act with a view to ensure high quality health products to the consumers. During the 12th Plan, the Department also proposes to set up a Homoeopathic Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited to provide facilities for manufacturing of Homoeopathic medicines to ensure quality and timely supplies to dispensaries, the Minister announced. The Department also intends to set up an All India Institute of Homoeopathy to fulfill the emerging interest of scientists for research in homoeopathy and inculcate better inter-disciplinary understanding for promoting evidence-based use of homoeopathy, Shri Azad stated.
Recalling the highlighting of important achievements of the Department of AYUSH during the 11th Plan, the Minister said three National Institutes were set up during this period, viz, The North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine, Passighat, Arunachal Pradesh, set up at a cost of Rs.30 crores and the OPD functioning from 2009; The North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, Shillong, Meghalaya, started its OPD from October 2010 at a total cost of Rs. 58 crores; The All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi also started operations from September, 2010 and will be completed at the total cost of Rs.90 crores. A Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine was set up this year. Development of identity and quality standards of 256 Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) and 92 homoeopathic drugs was done, including quality testing of 1342 ASU and 3709 homoeopathic samples during the 11th Plan. Chairs in Ayurveda and Unani were established in Charite, University of Western Cape, South Africa in 2011 to propagate the teaching of these systems. 1933 Public Health Centres, 260 Community Health Centres and 83 District Hospitals have been supported since 2005 for setting up AYUSH facilities. During the period of the 11th Plan from 2005-06 to 2011-12, Twelve State Drug Testing Laboratories, 17 Pharmacies, 34 State Drug Licensing Authorities, 62 proposals of strengthening enforcement mechanism of ASU drugs and 11 proposals of strengthening in-house quality control laboratories of drug manufacturers were supported by the Department. As a part of National Mission on Medicinal Plants, 732 Nurseries have been set up since 2005 and 70,267 hectares of land have been covered for cultivation of Medicinal Plants, Shri Azad noted.
Addressing the international experts of Homeopathy who have assembled for the four-day Conference on the theme of ‘Homeopathy for public Health Issues', Shri Azad stated that in India the Government provides opportunity to every recognized medical system to develop and be practiced with a view to provide integrated and holistic health care services so as to encourage a pluralistic health care delivery system. Shri Azad said many countries are facing challenges in providing basic health care to their citizens due to rising costs of increasingly complex technologies. In this context, systems like Homoeopathy could be useful, where relevant, he emphasized. "World Professional bodies like Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis have an important role to play here by addressing the skepticism surrounding the scientific nature and reliability of this system of medicine. It is for LMHI and its members to endeavour to find answers to such misconceptions by showing how the Homeopathic science has evolved over the last 200 years and contributed in overcoming some of the challenging epidemics and other diseases", the Minister said. "The primary health care approach, beginning with the Declaration of Alma-Ata more than 30 years ago, recognized that prevention requires collaboration with multiple health sectors. This is where the relevance of Homoeopathy in health care could come in. The medicines in homoeopathy are widely used in curative care since they are seen as being cost effective, simple and also due to the fact that they are seen to cure certain diseases for which there is no known or effective treatment in other systems', the Minister said.
Shri Azad added that India takes pride in the fact that we have the largest number of traditional and alternative medicine teaching institutions in the world. The Department of AYUSH intends to put in more concerted efforts to streamline the quality of education during 12th Plan with the objective of imparting high quality training and achieving clinical excellence in all our traditional and alternative systems' doctors. He noted that we are also training students from many neighboring countries and that India will continue to be the major hub for all systems of medical education, including homoeopathic education, in Asia with its focus on excellence. Shri Azad said India would be happy to help countries like Srilanka in augmenting their Human Resource needs in field of Homeopathy.
Shri Azad honoured many senior Homeopaths on the occasion as also released books and software prepared by subject experts. The Minister of Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka, Shri Salinda Dissanayake, Minister of Health, Medical Education and Elections, Government of Haryana, Secretary Department of AYUSH, GOI Shri Anil Kumar, office bearers of LMHI and other subject experts were present on the occasion. Dr. Jose Matuk Kanan, President, LMHI declared the Congress open for scientific session proceedings. About 2400 delegates from 35 countries are participating in this congress, being hosted in India for the fourth time after the earlier congresses held in 1967, 1977 and 1995.