Major Debate In Rajya Sabha Over Fund Allocation To AYUSH, Integration With Modern Medicine

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NEW DELHI: Cutting on the lines of the party, members of the Rajya Sabha recently bathed for the high amount of money to encourage the Ayush Ministry to promote traditional systems of medicine, which would benefit lakhs of people in the country.

Some MPs also suggested a convergence of modern medical science with traditional medicine like Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Greek, Siddha and Homeopathy during a discussion on the AYUSH Ministry in the Upper House.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) started the debate and said, “Government has provided Rs. 53,000 crore for the Health Ministry and Rs. 1,686 crore for the last financial year for the Ministry of Ayush. The Standing Committee has asked the AYUSH Ministry to increase the budget.”

He said that the budget of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is more than the Ministry of AYUSH.

The MP said that traditional medical systems require drug testing laboratories and incentives for the cultivation of herbs.

Yadav also asked the government to start the NEET like tradition all-India entrance examination for medical education.

Refuting his views, Congress member Jairam Ramesh said that convergence of tradition medical systems is required with modern medical science.

He suggested that for the students of modern and traditional medicine, the first three-year education course should be the same.

He was of the opinion that in the fourth year students should choose medical practice like Allopathy or Ayurveda.

He expressed concern over the transfer of practitioners of traditional medicine system to allopathy in a later stage. Ramesh said that in an Ayurvedic magazine, it was disappointing to read that 80% of the Ayurveda practitioners practised allopathy.

He said that the Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy Ministry, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) have a budget of less than Rs 2,000 crore for this financial year, which is needed to be increased.

Ramesh asked the government to tighten the regulatory mechanism to deal with counterfeit drugs under tradition medical system.

He also told the House that medicinal plants and herbs worth $ 350 million are exported to other countries, while India imports such drugs from other countries.

He said that Ayurveda would not become “great by making slogans,” rather it is based on modern science and strict clinical trials.

He said that there should be strict provisions to punish the Quack practising traditional medicine system.

RK Selvaraj (AIADMK) emphasizing the need to revive the old medical tradition of India, said that the ancient Siddha system was helpful in fixing many incurable diseases.

He claimed that it was so advanced that there were records of diseases like AIDS and that Panchkarma, which was cheap and efficient, should be revived.

Shantanu Sen (AITC) regretted that there were five streams under AYUSH but there were only two regulatory bodies and demanded an increase in the number of doctors.

He said that it is a matter of concern that there is a shortage of Ayurveda and other doctors in many states.

Amar Patnaik (BJD) emphasized the implementation of the schemes on the ground. He said that Kerala has merged the treaty with tourism along with such streams and has also demanded an Ayush University in Puri.

Ram Nath Thakur (JDU) said that ancient Indian medical systems need to be resurrected whereas Keshav Rao (TRS) said that it was Ayurveda who fitted him at the age of 80 and revived old literature like Bhupprachak Advocated

Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) expressed concern over the online sale of medicines and said that it should be regulated.

They demanded an increased budget under AYUSH, not just Tokenism’s

K. Somprasad (CPI-M) demanded the revival of AYUSH in government hospitals.

He demanded a budget of at least 10,000 crores for AYUSH.

Ashok Siddhartha (BSP) said that the number of Ayurveda and Greek hospitals in the country is inadequate.

Vipalav Thakur (Congress) urged the government to take steps to treat traditional medical doctors in a similar manner to allopathy doctors.

He also said that the government should take measures to standardize traditional medicine and to increase the budget of the Ministry besides scientific methods.

Vijeta Sathyan (AIADMK) demanded recognition from the government for MB Nilwambu Kudinar (a proven medical), which provides protection from Chikungunya virus and dengue.

K J Alphans (BJP) said that he does not want to say that traditional medicine is better than other systems. A framework for the Ministry of AYUSH has been made and needs to be strengthened by working together and strengthening.

Madhusudan Mistry (Kang) suggested that the government would start documenting traditional tribal medicines and appoint a nurse in each rural health centre.

BJP member Satyanarayan Jatiya also participated in the debate.

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