Insurance Coverage a Level-playing Field for Ayurveda
(7 months ago)
MUMBAI: In order to tackle the higher treatment costs, which hitherto prevented people from engaging in extensive Ayurvedic treatments, NABH-accredited hospitals like Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre Limited have started utilizing the insurance coverage introduced by the Ministry of AYUSH last year.
The Ministry of AYUSH decided to give insurance coverage for Ayurvedic treatments in 2016 November after discussions with stakeholders such as the IRDA, insurance companies and Ayurvedic Hospitals Management Association.
The notification to extend insurance coverage to Ayurveda treatments, a long-pending demand, has given the much-needed impetus to the ancient healing system. Various stakeholders within the industry have hailed the move as it could serve the twin purpose of taking Ayurveda to newer heights and popularizing the ancient way of treatment to a much wider masses.
In the notification, the government listed 20 diseases, the corresponding therapies and medicines eligible for insurance coverage. Some of the diseases eligible for insurance coverage include: Rheumatic fever, Restrictive /Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Bronchial Asthma, Emphysema, cervical spondylosis, cervical spondylitis, Ankylosing spondylitis of cervical spine, cervical disc prolapsed, back Pain/Ache, spondylolysthesis, neuro-spastic conditions, Parkinson's disease, etc.
The notification, while stipulating benchmark treatment rates, listed those Ayurveda hospitals which are competent to provide the treatment. They are NABH-accredited Ayurveda hospitals, central or state government hospitals, and government-approved Ayurveda medical colleges and Ayurveda hospitals.
"Earlier people used to shy away from seeking Ayurveda treatment owing to the lack of insurance facility. Of late there has been a discernible call taken by people to consult and treat in Ayurveda when they realize that the western medicine system has failed miserably. People are increasingly realizing that the use of synthetic medicines damage the body organs. However, what prevented many from seeking Ayurvedic treatment is the non-availability of adequate insurance coverage. The government's move in this regard indeed is a solace. More and more people, who hitherto remained reluctant to seek Ayurveda treatment, have started showing interest following the insurance coverage facility. Ayurvedic science and philosophy has complete solutions to help live a better life and it is way beyond the basic modern science that we normally use," said Ajayaraj, Director and CEO of Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre, one of the NABH-accredited Ayurvedic hospitals in the country.
"The notion that Ayurveda is a mere wellness treatment that you often club with your vacation has vanished long ago. In the last decade, Ayurveda has achieved mainstream acceptability as a first choice for treating many chronic ailments. The AYUSH decision to extend insurance coverage for Ayurvedic treatment will go a long way in giving the ancient system of healing its due recognition. Since AYUSH decision to extend insurance coverage, we have been witnessing an upsurge in the intake of patients," said Dr Sajith Varma, Head of Public Communication, Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre.