NEW DELHI: Traditional medicine streams such as Ayurveda, homeopathy and siddha seem to be gaining popularity with over 50,000 more doctors registering between 2013 and 2014, showed statistics collected by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence in National Health Profile, 2015.
"Over the years with gaining popularity, there is a steady rise in total number of registered AYUSH doctors in India from 6,86,319 in 2013 to 7,36,538 in 2014," the Profile highlighted.
According to the data, ayurvedic practitioners constitute the majority of it with over 54% of them registered with the government.
The government is now planning to induct AYUSH doctors into the mainstream medical system with required training to serve the rural population.
Though allopathic doctors too have increased over past few years, the doctor patient ratio continues to lag. According to the data, an allopathic doctor in a government hospital is estimated to serve a population of 11,528 people.
Officials believe, utilizing AYUSH doctors to at least serve the distant rural area, where allopathic doctors do not wish to go, may help the situation. Of late, AYUSH has received tremendous support from the government. The present government has not only promoted the traditional medicine stream through events like the International Day of Yoga but has also proposed to support research to create documentation of the results of treatments of various chronic diseases through AYUSH. The government is now also mulling to set up a separate regulator for AYUSH medicines and practitioners.
"These (AYUSH doctors) are trained medical practitioners and can be used in at least primary care centres and district hospitals where the footfall is high with dearth of doctors," an official said.
"India with its kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage, is proud of some unique medicinal forms that look at health, disease and causes of disease in completely different ways," the Profile said.
States such as Bihar and Maharashtra, which are also impacted by poor doctor-patient ratio, have witnessed increasing trend in number of AYUSH doctors.