Opinion

Why AYUSH medicines must be given equal importance as modern drugs?

AYUSH Medicines could soon be sold in generic medicine stores across the country, which are run by the Health Ministry. AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik said in the Lok Sabha that his ministry was in talks with the Health Ministry to ensure that AYUSH Medicines would be available in the generic medicine stores. Union Minister Sripad Naik on Wednesday asked all the states to give equal weightage to AYUSH Health services & modern drugs and promote rational use of traditional medicines.

The Union Minister also referred to the agreement between India & the World Health Organization (WHO) for cooperation in promoting traditional medicines. He asked all the states to consider the WHO’s advisory in capacity building & spreading awareness among people about advantages of traditional medicines. He said that it was important to give equal importance to AYUSH & Health Ministry.

‘It is also necessary to effectively integrate AYUSH systems into National Health Care Delivery to achieve a balance between the conventional & traditional practices. This cannot be achieved until legal provisions are made by the states,” he said. Naik asked the states to make necessary amendments in their respective acts dealing with the issue so that AYUSH healthcare systems can be used in case of medical emergencies.

“It is heartening that some of the states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal have made such amendments in their State Medical Practitioner Acts. I would request all the other State Governments to do the same,” he said.

He also said that his Ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to curtail misleading advertisements about AYUSH drugs.

Responding to a supplementary, he also said the age-old skill of Ayurvedic nerve diagnosis (NadiPariksha) could be put in the education list, for which the government was holding consultations with the council of Ayurveda.

The Minister said all public health centres and community health centres should have AYUSH doctors for which funds are also allocated to state governments.  He said the government is making efforts to protect medicinal plants that are in the danger zone.


Alok Shetty

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