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Jul 2014|Volume 11|Issue 7
Jul 2014|Vol 11|Issue 7

Promoting AYUSH in a big way says Union Health minister

         The Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, an ENT surgeon by profession spoke to Teena Thacker on the ‘health for all’ policy and how he intends to improve deteriorating health services in the country. He says “I am all for promoting AYUSH in a big way which has not been done in the past”. In the next couple of years we want to convert many district hospitals into medical colleges. This entails improving facilities, getting more manpower. I also feel that doctors of Homeopathy are underutilized. They have to be given some sort of training so that they can be utilized at the healthcare centers. They have to play a bigger role in the system. I am all for promoting AYUSH in a big way.

        Despite the fact that I am a doctor of modern medicine, I feel that Unani, yoga, naturopathy and ayurveda have an inherent power to deal with many illnesses. These indigenous, traditional systems are complete systems. So much so that the Khalifa of Baghdad got this knowledge translated into Arabic. Even the modern system of medicine has evolved out of that knowledge. This is precious and we need to use it in a big way.

        We have to try and get rid of the bottlenecks so that there is an integration of all the system of medicine because no single system is capable of treating all illnesses. I would not like to compromise on the quality of medical education, but I would certainly like to encourage doctors of AYUSH. They are qualified, have done four-and-a-half year long courses. We just have to train them a little bit. I too feel that doctors must spend some time in rural areas. Normally this is a part of their internship, but to solve the problem of shortage of doctors, both doctors and medical institutes have to take a broader approach. Of course they have their own problems, and those need to be resolved, but they have to pay back to the society. I will soon have the modalities worked out.