- Despite the publicity campaigns to promote Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), there is a trust-deficit in these systems.
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
- It is the science of protecting the safety and improving the health of communities through education, policy making and research for disease and injury prevention.
- Traditional & Non-Conventional Systems of Health Care and Healing Which Include Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy e
Features of the Indian systems of medicine:
- Their diversity, flexibility; accessibility; affordability, a broad acceptance by a large section of the general public
- Comparatively lesser cost and growing economic value
- Great potential to make them providers of healthcare that the large sections of our people need.
Reasons for Skepticism about AYUSH:
- Skepticism in the public mind about the soundness of Ayurvedic theories and the fruitfulness of its practices.
- The Ayurveda establishment has failed to keep pace with the intellectual and scientific advances of the times.
- Archaic theories that are apt to arouse suspicion in the minds of educated patients are peddled as sophisticated dogmas.
- Treatments are made to escape straightforward experimental scrutiny because of their supposed rootedness in such theories.
- Diminished evidence-based quality.
- Ayurveda treatments are slow to heal is another common view that characterizes the public image of Ayurveda.
A practitioner’s ordeal:
- Ayurveda does not have a vibrant ecosystem of science and research
- A poor practitioner has to depend on himself to discover treatments and approaches that actually work.
- Sifting the usable parts from the obsolete ones requires prior experience, a knowledge of practice trends, and of course, a robust common sense.
- The process involves a lot of trial and error with patients and predictably leads to an erosion of the practitioner’s reputation.
- Ayurveda can be used safely and efficiently only in about 60%-70% of primary-care illnesses.
- Patient interest would necessitate complementing Ayurveda with modern medicine.
- Most States prohibit the practice of modern medicine by Ayurveda graduates and, consequently, the practitioner finds himself crippled again.
Success of some practitioners:
- Practitioners resorting to gimmickry and publicity have a field day.
- Using regular newspaper columns, television shows, and social media sites, they entrap gullible patients.
- “Ayurvedic astrology,” the AYUSH establishment also implicitly lends support to their ‘charlatanry’.
National Ayush Mission:
● Launched in September 2014 by the Department of AYUSH under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, during the 12th Plan for implementation through States/UTs.
● Now, it is implemented by the Ministry of Ayush.
● The scheme involves expansion of the AYUSH sector to promote holistic health of Indians.
● The Mission addresses the gaps in health services through supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for providing AYUSH health services/education in the country, particularly in vulnerable and far-flung areas.
Components of the National AYUSH Mission
1. AYUSH Services.
2. AYUSH Educational Institutions.
3. Quality Control of ASU&H (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy) Drugs.
4. Medicinal Plants.
1. AYUSH Wellness Centres comprising Yoga and Naturopathy,
3. Innovations in AYUSH including Public Private Partnership,
4. IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities,
5. Voluntary certification scheme: Project based, etc.
- Real patient benefit would be sustainable as opposed to patient gratification which is momentary.
- Sustainability of treatments requires a gradual transition from illness to wellness.
- There is enough material in medical literature today to substantiate the prudence of this approach — at least, in principle.
- The popular view that Ayurvedic treatments are slow to heal is thus a half-truth.
- It can be corrected by appropriate patient education
- Appropriate policy-making can solve a lot of these problems that well-meaning Ayurveda practitioners face.
- Primary-care doctors are becoming an endangered species in India’s health-care system.
- Rejuvenating primary care is a sine qua non if a country is to secure the health of its citizens.
- Ayurveda graduates can contribute enormously towards this rejuvenation if trained properly.
- A proper training of Ayurveda graduates with a view to make them good primary-care doctors would involve preparatory exercises:
- Vigorous evidence-based appraisal of Ayurvedic theories and practices in order to sift the usable from the obsolete
- A statutory decision to allow Ayurveda graduates to practice modern medicine in stipulated primary care areas.
- Ayurveda, science, and public welfare all stand to gain: There is need for sincerity, straight-thinking, and some adventurism on the part of stakeholders.
- Prelims: Current events of national importance, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), AYUSH,
- Mains GS Paper I & II: Development and management of social sectors/services related to Health and education etc
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
Besides being a moral imperative of the Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyze.(UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)
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