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Invigorating the Ayush Industry

Published: 7th May, 2022

Context

AYUSH system of treatment, if integrated with the mainstream system of medicine, will give wider acceptance to traditional systems of India.

Background

  • India has a tradition of rich and diverse history of traditional medicines.
  • In last one century though the rise of Allopathy had side-lined the use of Indian traditional medicine and health systems such as Ayurveda, Unani and Yoga.
  • World as a whole and India in particular nevertheless is moving back to the systems of traditional medicines.
  • It is therefore necessary that the government takes effective steps to make treatment from Indian Medicinal systems available to all.

What is the market value of traditional medicinal treatment today?

  • In 2020, global market for herbal medicine was valued at $657.5 billion.
  • It is expected to grow exponentially in the coming times.
  • Globally, in terms of value, the Chinese traditional medicine market leads the way.

Healthy China 2030 plan forecasts that the value of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) market may reach $737.9 billion within China and globally by 2030.

  • In India, the National Ayush Mission (NAM) was launched in 2014 by the Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to promote Ayush systems and address the needs of the sector in a comprehensive way.
  • The Indian Ayush sector has seen the growth of 17% between 2014 and 2020.

About AYUSH

  • AYUSH is the acronym of the medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
  • These systems are based on definite medical philosophies and represent a way of healthy living with established concepts on prevention of diseases and promotion of health.
  • The basic approach of all these systems on health, disease and treatment are holistic.

What is National Ayush Mission?

National AYUSH Mission

  • India possess an unmatched heritage represented by its ancient systems of medicine like ASU&H which are a treasure house of knowledge for preventive and promotive healthcare.
  • The positive features of the Indian systems of medicine namely their
    • diversity and flexibility
    • accessibility
    • affordability
    • a broad acceptance by a large section of the general public
    • comparatively lesser cost and growing economic value
    • have great potential to make them providers of healthcare that the large sections of people need
  • Keeping this importance in mind, the government of India launched the National AYUSH Mission (NAM).
    • The proposed 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.
    • Special focus is given for specific needs of such areas and for allocation of higher resources in their Annual Plans. 

What are the Objectives of National Ayush Mission?

  • To provide cost effective AYUSH Services, with a universal access through upgrading AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries, co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).
  • To strengthen institutional capacity at the state level through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt. ASU&H Pharmacies, Drug Testing Laboratories and ASU & H enforcement mechanism.
  • 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.
  • Support setting up of clusters through convergence of cultivation, warehousing, value addition and marketing and development of infrastructure for entrepreneurs.

Challenges Faced by AYUSH System of Medicine in India:

  • The courses offered to Ayurvedic practitioners’ is below par at most of the institutes.
  • There is a crunch human resource who could successfully pass on the knowledge of Indian Traditional Medicines to the next generation.
  • The adequate utilisation of infrastructure in training institutes and hospitals of Ayush.
  • Effectiveness of very few of Ayush treatments and medicines have been tested as per modern norms and hence lack of scientific backing obstructs their chance of getting accepted by people at large.
  • Allopathy system of medicine is today the most accepted and wide spread route of getting treated. Competition from Allopathy dwarfs the growth of Indian traditional system of medicines.
  • There is a serious information lacuna amongst the general public about the Indian traditional medicine system.

How Traditional System of Medicine could be strengthened?

  • Government of India’s efforts to set up WHO-Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, whose foundation stone was laid by PM Narendra Modi on April 19, 2022 is a big step forward in the direction of promoting and developing traditional systems of medicine.
  • More study is necessary, especially in clinical trials, to know more about efficacy India Medicinal System.
  • WHO has included traditional medicine in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases bythis will help in establishing reliable data on the use of traditional medicine.
  • The organisational structure of State Medicinal Plant Boards(SMPBs), the body through which herb component of Ayush treatment is taken to the people, needs to be strengthened.

Practice Question

Q1. Do you agree that Integrating AYUSH System of Medicine into mainstream medical system will give it wider acceptance in the country? Substantiate your answer.

Q2. India’s traditional medicine and way of life hold immense trade and brand potential. Discuss. Also, list various government initiatives to promote the Indian System of Medicines.

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