New Delhi: Last month, the National Health Authority had rejected 19 packages the AYUSH ministry proposed for inclusion under the Narendra Modi government’s cashless health insurance scheme, commonly known as Ayushman Bharat. But now, the ministry is planning to submit a new list, this time including 50 packages.
AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, and the ministry had proposed packages like Panchakarma (the process of cleaning toxins from the body), cupping therapy (deep tissue massage) and Varmam therapy (pressure point-based healing) to be included under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). It had also included packages to reverse the need for knee or hip-replacement surgeries.
The NHA had rejected the AYUSH ministry’s proposal, saying it was looking for tertiary care packages, not preventive care.
“The NHA misunderstood our tertiary procedures as preventive,” a senior AYUSH ministry official told ThePrint.
Tertiary care is a highly specialised form of treatment which is generally expected to require advanced medical procedures in super-specialty hospitals. An open heart surgery, for instance, is counted among tertiary care procedures.
However, the ministry official said the NHA had failed to recognise their treatments, which were simple but “led to the same results”.
“On further discussion, we were informed that our treatments were very simple, and hence, did not fall into tertiary care. But in traditional medicine system, most of the tertiary care procedures don’t require hospitalisation, but lead to the same results,” the official said.
Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer of the NHA, did not respond to ThePrint’s request for comment on the issue.
Also read: Modi govt’s love for Ayurveda may be undermining ancient medicinal system
The earlier proposal had included packages based on the ancient principles of medicine, which diagnose the human body on three parameters — vata (caused by air), kapha (caused by earth and water) and pitta (caused by fire and water).
For instance, according to WebMD, if “vata dosha is your main life force, you’re thought to be more likely to develop conditions like anxiety, asthma, heart disease, skin problems, and rheumatoid arthritis”.
But the new proposal will be made according to the proforma designed by the NHA, where treatment protocols have to be designed for every organ of the human body, such as list of treatments for heart-related problems or treatments under oncology.
All five departments under the ministry have again been asked to formulate the new packages.
Also read: AYUSH ministry wants to make yoga asanas a sport, perhaps even an Olympic event