National AYUSH Mission Background
- AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy
- Currently, the gaps in India’s healthcare sector are huge with a large proportion of the population virtually denied healthcare access
- To address these gaps, the Government has been supporting AYUSH care and education, particularly in vulnerable and far flung areas.
- The traditional medicine sector has a huge potential to solve the various health problems in the world. Promotion of these medicine systems is the need of the hour as they offer numerous benefits and multiplier effects in the form of employment etc.
- While all conventional allopathic and surgical procedures focus on the treatment of a disease, AYUSH systems focus on an overall healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind and body as the key to health.
- As the world celebrated the 2nd International Yoga Day on 21st June, let us examine the ways in which government has been promoting these traditional medicinal techniques.
Benefits of AYUSH
- The AYUSH systems offer certain benefits which make them more sought after, compared even to conventional medicine
- AYUSH healthcare is generally cheap and affordable
- Lesser side effects
- Have proven to effective even in chronic cases and terminal stages of diseases
- Very effective towards lifestyle related disorders – especially yoga
- Overall focus of health – body and mind; Hence it is focussed on prevention, being true to the fact that "prevention is better than cure"
About the Scheme
- Vision of the scheme
- To provide cost effective and equitable AYUSH health care throughout the country by improving access to the services.
- To revitalize and strengthen the AYUSH systems making them as prominent medical streams in addressing the health care of the society.
- To improve educational institutions capable of imparting quality AYUSH education
- To promote the adoption of Quality standards of AYUSH drugs and making available the sustained supply of AYUSH raw-materials.
- Objectives of the scheme
- Providing Universal access to AYUSH : through upgrading AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries, co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).
- Strengthening institutional capacity at the state level : through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt. ASU&H Pharmacies, Drug Testing Laboratories and ASU & H enforcement mechanism.
- Sustained supply of raw material and maintenance of quality standards : Support cultivation of medicinal plants by adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) so as to provide sustained supply of quality raw-materials and support certification mechanism for quality standards, Good Agricultural/Collection/Storage Practices.
- Building a Supply chain: Support setting up of clusters through convergence of cultivation, warehousing, value addition and marketing and development of infrastructure for entrepreneurs
- Basic mission components are
- AYUSH Services
- AYUSH Educational Institutions
- Quality Control of ASU & H Drugs
- Medicinal Plants
Other government interventions to promote AYUSH
- The department of AYUSH was elevated to a separate ministry for AYUSH in 2014.
- Recently, the government released guidelines to control quality and licensing of drugs to build credibility of AYUSH systems
- Regulation and promotion of AYUSH Education under Central council of Indian medicine
- Mainstreaming of AYUSH into National Rural Health Mission ; availability of AYUSH facilities at PHCs, CHCs and District Hospitals
- National health policy 2015- emphasizes on the need to promote equity in health care
- Attributes an important role to AYUSH; emphasizes on enhancing its outreach and acceptability
- The Indian Government was successful in initiating and getting passed a proposal to observe June 21st as International Yoga Day
- The doubts regarding the efficacy and safety of AYUSH systems need to be addressed via scientific research, publishing and development of good practices in the area.
- Development of Standard Treatment protocols to build public trust in these systems
- Protection of traditional knowledge of Ayurveda from piracy and misappropriation
- Emphasis on the preventive aspect of these systems especially Yoga is the key. PM Modi led the way when he emphasized that Yoga is akin to health insurance.