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India has a pluralistic healthcare delivery system: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Posted on Feb 12, 04:58PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 12 : Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said India has a pluralistic healthcare delivery system where the government provides opportunity to every recognized medical system to develop and practice with a view to provide integrated and holistic healthcare services.

"It is open to patronizing best practices and proven standards for the benefit of the people. There is a peaceful co-existence of Allopathy with Ayurveda, Yoga, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, Unani and Homoeopathy in our country," said Azad.

Addressing the inaugural programme of the International Conference on Traditional Medicine for South East Asian Countries here, Azad said all these medical systems are being utilized in the national healthcare delivery system, each to its potential and availability in different parts of the country.

"The aim is to provide accessible, affordable, safe and quality healthcare to the people. There is a separate Department of AYUSH for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy in the Health Ministry to look after traditional medicine," he said.

He said traditional medicine services have been incorporated in the public health delivery system since 1960s when AYUSH facilities were set up under one roof in the Central Government Health Scheme dispensaries for the benefit of central government employees.

"The process of mainstreaming has been further augmented under the National Rural Health Mission, with co-location of traditional medicine and homeopathy facilities in the primary health network and capacity building of AYUSH practitioners in the national programmes of Reproductive and Child Health, Safe Child Birth, School Health, Anemia control and Malaria eradication," said Azad.

He said the South-East Asian (SEA) countries have a rich heritage of several systems of traditional medicine.

"They have vast resources of medicinal plants and huge repositories of knowledge. Different systems of traditional medicine have been used in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR)countries for centuries. Due to this long history, the role of Traditional Medicine and its practitioners have been recognized by the governments in this region," he said.

"WHO Regional Office has also been assisting South East Asia Region countries to promote the use of Traditional Medicine so that this valuable resource is utilized safely and effectively.

"Harmonized approaches based on best acceptable models existing in the region or other parts of the world could be instrumental in steering unified development of traditional medicine education, practice, regulation and progress toward mutual recognition of systems, qualifications, pharmacopoeias and other related aspects."

"Time has come to take up a common regional agenda for traditional medicine," said Azad.

He hoped the discussions and outcomes of the conference would be a vision for action and strategic implementation in the South East Asia Region countries in traditional medicines.