Representational image of patients meditating in a hospital ward | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Representational image of patients meditating in a hospital ward | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government plans to roll out a ‘One Nation, One Health System’ policy by 2030, which would integrate modern and traditional systems of medicine like allopathy, homoeopathy and Ayurveda in medical practice, education and research.

Government sources told ThePrint that the policy aims to formulate an Integrative Health System, under which patients would get treatment from any medicinal system, depending on what ails them and their current condition.

“There is a need to integrate the different forms of treatment. The government is trying to shift the focus away from the ‘-pathy’ part of medicine, which means that it should not matter if it is allopathy, homoeopathy or Ayurveda, as long as the person benefits from the treatment,” a government official said on the condition of anonymity.

“If a patient comes to a hospital, they can be given allopathic treatment if their condition is serious, but they can also be given homoeopathic or Ayurvedic treatment in the same hospital if their condition can be managed with those,” the official explained.

He added that the scheme would be recognition of the fact that in India, there are traditional forms of medicine that are not “alternative” but very integral to healthcare.

When reached for a comment on this, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare spokesperson told ThePrint “this is an initiative of NITI Aayog” and the query should be directed to the government’s planning think-tank.

ThePrint tried to contact Dr V.K. Paul, member (health) of NITI Aayog, via text message and call for a comment, but he did not reply. This report will be updated when a response is received.


Also read: Incorrect to call Ayurveda, homoeopathy alternative medicine for Covid — top AYUSH official


Re-envisioning medicine in Indian context

A meeting chaired by Dr Paul was held on 8 September to begin formulating the new system.

According to the minutes of the meeting, accessed by ThePrint, it was discussed that while both allopathic medicine and AYUSH systems have been mainstreamed through Ayushman Bharat, there is a need to examine their integration in the Indian context.

A committee headed by Paul has been formed to propose a framework for the Integrative Health System, in order to achieve “inclusive, affordable, evidence-based, person-centric healthcare”. The committee will also develop a roadmap for disease prevention and health promotion in national programmes.

‘One Nation, One Health System’ has already been envisioned in the National Health Policy and the National Education Policy brought in by the Modi government in 2017 and 2020 respectively.

The NHP “recognises the need for integrated courses for ISM (Indian systems of medicine), modern science and Ayurgenomics (a combination of Ayurveda with the study of all the genes of an organism, called genomics)”. It also talks about getting AYUSH systems to contribute to “meeting the national health goals and objectives through integrative practices”.

As reported by ThePrint, the NEP states: “Given that people exercise pluralistic choices in healthcare, our healthcare education system must be integrative meaning thereby that all students of allopathic medical education must have a basic understanding of AYUSH and vice versa.”

Working groups to be made

While the ‘One Nation, One Health System’ policy is expected to be rolled out by 2030, four working groups will be made now in the core areas of education, research, clinical practice, and public health and administration.

These groups would study how countries all over the world — particularly the USA, China and European nations — have translated integrative medicine into their health system.

The groups will also study India’s own experience of integration of AYUSH and modern medicine, and also the legal aspects in the implementation of integrative medicine.

Implementing an integrative system would mean there will be a need for health professionals trained in such a system, according to a presentation shared at the 8 September meeting. So, the committee headed by Paul will also examine reforms in nursing education and regulation.

This report has been updated to include the health ministry’s response.  


Also read: Why India needs to regulate Ayurveda to win the world market for natural remedies


 

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39 Comments Share Your Views

39 COMMENTS

  1. Talk about integrating bullock-carts into the NASA rocket-system. Soon we will have elephants in the army and mantra-gurus at the pscyhiatry centres. Indians will not let themselves be the puppets of political and monetary exploiters. How could any sane mind accept the integration of a flat-earth into any field whatsoever? The garbage of homeopathy has been stinking in the system too long – its time to discard this corrupted business eating up the educational and financial and human resources of our country.
    Ayurveda is akin to natural remedies as good as alternative medicine. Who shall mix water-science into potent-medicine.

  2. This is a good move, so that the legitimate use of Indian system of medicines and homoeopathy can be practiced. At this juncture to carry out fundamental research in ISM and Homoeopathy is not possible and these systems are for behind compared to modern medicine in the field of research.
    But because of the efficacy of these systems they are surviving in the society despite lack of evidence and opposition from modern scientists. If one physician learns all the systems of medicines, he can utilize any system of medicine depending up on it’s efficacy to a particular disease legitimately without any prejudice. More over infrastructure improvement, unnecessary expenditure can be controlled, quackery will end and more research and scientific development of ISM and Homoeopathy will takes place. If given an opportunity , I am ready to extend my services as I worked largely and done elaborate research on Integrating all the systems of medicines
    Best wishes to the Government of India

    • Efficacy of these systems…What evidence do you have? Please share your evidence not in the way Ayush people believe it works but as per scientific standards.

      Homeopathy is surviving due to the placebo effect. Now you want to promote more “scientific” research in homeopathy ?

      Pseudoscience = sounds like science, acts like science, tries to use the language of science, but it is not science.

      All that this “integrative” system will accomplish will be promoting funds for pseudoscience and a culture of pseudoscientists.

      Nearly 500 allopathic doctors have died in this country due to Covid many doctors and nurses caught Covid while serving patients . And during this pandemic, Ayush lobbyists kept themselves busy consolidating their political motives and promoting immunity boosters & cures without any scientific validation.

    • Take taxes from the public and do whatever you want to do to popularise Ayush as you Ayush guys seem well politically connected and are determined to get what you want with your intense political lobbying. Wish you all the best for a bright future.

      Only request – please leave modern medical science education and practice as it is. Don’t make future students guinea pigs for your political and survival ideas. Anyway I think this plea will fall on deaf ears as in this country politics is much more powerful than scientific reason.

      Integrative medicine “researchers” can go ahead and influence the government to promote cross-pathy and poly-pathy. The effects of this on the Indian public will be known only after 2-3 decades.

  3. This is what the world says about the German pseudoscience Homeopathy. They are all removing it in some way. We think we need to integrate it. Why are we so backwards?

    1. ‘The principles of homeopathy contradict known chemical, physical and biological laws and persuasive scientific trials proving its effectiveness are not available.’
    Russian Academy of Sciences

    2. ‘Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.’
    National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia

    3. ‘These products are not supported by scientific evidence.’
    Health Canada

    4 “Homeopathic remedies don’t meet the criteria of evidence based medicine.”
    Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    5. ‘The incorporation of anthroposophical and homeopathic products in the Swedish directive on medicinal products would run counter to several of the fundamental principles regarding medicinal products and evidence-based medicine.’
    Swedish Academy of Sciences

    6. ‘We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their healthcare professional for safe alternatives.’
    US Food and Drug Administration

    7. ‘There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.’
    National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health, US

    8. ‘There is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.’
    National Health Service, UK

    9. ‘Homeopathic remedies perform no better than placebos, and the principles on which homeopathy is based are scientifically implausible.’
    House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, UK

    10. ‘Homeopathy has not definitively proven its efficacy in any specific indication or clinical situation.’
    Ministry of Health, Spain

    11. ‘There is a constant increase in the quantity of evidence and the conviction of the scientific community in medicine, that homeopathy should be treated as one of the unscientific methods of so-called “alternative medicine”, which proposes worthless products without scientifically proven efficacy.’
    National Medical Council, Poland

    12. ‘From a purely clinical perspective, the fact remains that there is no valid empirical proof
 of the efficacy of homeopathy (evidence-based medicine) beyond the placebo effect.’
    Federaal Kenniscentrum voor de Gezondheidszorg, Belgium

      • A retired professor compiled it, not me.
        Please feel free to paste it in any Homeopathy discussion.

        This is the basic truth of science on Homeopathy today.

  4. First our native Health systems have to be strengthened. Most physicians, if not all, who are trained in AYUSH systems are practicing Allopathy.
    People should be given choice of Allopathy or indigenous health systems, as there is no Panacea for all health ailments, by any one system.

    • If given a choice, all students will opt for modern medicines. hardly anyone will take these nonsense subjects of Ayurveda and Homeopathy.
      Not even 0.001 % of MBBS graduates will have any interest in getting a side qualificarion in Homeopathy.
      Maybe like 1 failed doctor per year who keeps killing people.
      All AYUSH degree holders would rather have an MBBS. But until then they talk crap about modern medicine.

      So this could be great. There actually should not be a separate AYUSH degree. I actually agree with the government on this, if it is done properly (big IF).
      But these subjects should only be electives. No one should treat patients without basics.
      AYUSH colleges say they teach same basics, but they get very superficial treatment and the graduates are dangerous. This must change.

  5. Integrated approach is always better but impractical . With so much knowledge is available for each organ , even one lifetime is not enough to know about one organ , forget the whole body . Preventive , primary health system , secondary health system and also tertiary health system should all be developed separately . There is no need for simple disease patients to rush to tertiary care Centre but for that to happen we should have invested more in primary care centre . Business model of homeopathy and aurveda is like shoping mall , where someone dispense drugs based on symptoms without proper knowledge of disease . Modern medicine practitioner known which drugs causes what side effects , which traditional systems does not know , but there are hidden some times fatal side effects . Simple example is swarn bhasm promoted by Ayush are neprotoxic . Many loses there kidney function over times , so ignorance is not bliss . If side effects is not important to observe , why not Covid 19 vaccine despite is manufactured by several labs not launched yet . Baba Covid drug is example how people are mislead in name of Indian medicine . Health budget in our country is lesser than even Bangladesh , so only God can save our people .

  6. Ayurgenomics is pseudo science.

    Trying to make a 2000-3000 year old traditional system of medicine respectable with modern genetics?

    Ayurgenomics is not proven or accepted. How can a national health policy be based on something unproven?

    • Mr Ganapat: Very well said Sir !

      But the chaiwala believes that ancient Indian surgeons were capable of plastic surgery and could graft an elephant’s head and trunk to a man’s torso. Needless to say, bhakths and Modi worshippers were convinced by his claptrap !

      Indian science has taken a backseat under the Modi government. And this zany move by the government is the latest step in that direction.

  7. Sir.., it’s a very good idea now a days ALLOPATHY is very expensive treatment and so many side effects.. GOVT will need to create more awareness on HOMEOPATHY & AYURVEDA rural peoples doesn’t know it.

  8. Sir.., it’s a very good idea please govt will need to create more awareness on HOMEOPAYHY & AYURVEDA.. now a days ALLOPATHY is very expensive and so many side effects

    • Mr Amith: Homeopathy has been exposed as pure nonsense and is actually discouraged in most Western countries, including in Germany where it started. Yes, Ayurveda has its benefits in some areas. But most of these systems of medicine do not cover the comprehensive range of ailments that allopathy does. Additionally, they lack surgical solutions to many problems, such as cardiac disease, brain tumours, kidney disease, transplantations and so on. For instance, these traditional systems do not have the concept of vaccines. Major scourges such as polio and smallpox were eliminated by vaccines developed in accordance with the principles of allopathy and not other systems.

      Indeed, the vast majority of patienst who can afford it, prefer allopathy to other systems of medicine – as your own post indicates. The poor go for alternate treatments of questionable value, the rich go for more proven and codified allopathic treatments. The objective for the government would be to make allopathic medicine available at affordable prices. However, whichever way you look at the matter, there is more demand for allopathy than other systems. After all, you don’t take the victim of an accident to an Emergecy Room in a hospital and no to a homeopathic “doctor” right ?

      Yes, there is wisdom in traditional knowledge and there are many traditional systems that need to be codified and made widely available to all Indians. Indeed, all of humanity as the Salk polio vaccine did. And yes, allopathic medicine and the drugs industry is profit driven often unethical, does not concentrate on poor man’s diseases like malaria, sleeping sickness or snakebite. But that is a fault of poor regulation by governments and regulatory capture of government regulators by the firms.

      You talk of side-effects. Every drug has a potential side-effect – including ayurvedic and homeopathic drugs. The notion that these traditional systems are completely harmless is an urban legend with no basis on the biochemistry involved.

  9. I am sure the whole idea behind this integrative medicine concept is for ayush doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines and earn an income.

    It will be interesting what this integrative system will do to those who study allopathy in future. Is the ayush political lobby hoping NEET qualified students after studying and becoming doctors will recommend ayurvedic or homeopathic medicine?

    How can the government even think of mixing these systems? Science and pseudoscience cannot coexist under same roof . It also cannot coexist in the hands of the person who treats patients. Water and oil do not mix. Public health system will be a confused one. Good luck to this country.

  10. Almost 200-300 allopathic doctors died in our country due to covid-19. The IMA would have the correct number but am sure many of them died because they served Covid patients

    Does the government or anyone else have data on how many ayush doctors died because of serving Covid patients?

  11. Stop using the word allopathy.
    Allopathy was the mainstream system of medicine in use when homeopathy was brought into being in Germany.

    Instead you should use “modern medical science” or “modern medicine” or just “medical science”. The other systems are not based on science.

  12. Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness in modern medicine.

    • An excellent comment Mr Singh H.

      Homeopathy needs to becurtailed – if not banned. It has utterly no scientific basis and no surgical component. Nothing but pure mumbo-jumbo. Indeed, none of India’s politicians themselves opt for homeopathy or ayurveda. The moment they get sick with a serious ailment, they check in to the top notch hospitals in the US or Europe to get quality healthcare. Whilst asking the poor to seek homeopathy or ayurvedic care.

  13. In this pandemic so far what evidence or research been done by Ayurveda or homeopathy and provided to mankind? What insights
    or new knowledge regarding epidemics, nature of infection, organs infected, immunity, cure, reinfections, virus genetics and mutations, etc. has come forward from these systems? Zilch. These are old and ancient static systems so no new knowledge can hope to arise.

    All the new medical and biological knowledge for humanity is coming only from modern medical science research because it is based on science and scientific methods. There is a clearer picture in this medical system emerging regarding organs infected, immunity, reinfections, vaccine trials and genomics of the virus and it’ s strains.

  14. There were some comments that during the strict lockdown period of about 3 months and absence of allopathic clinics and hospitals not undertaking other than Corona patients, the normal deaths were less.

    There is also a question whether corna deaths were actually due to Corona or other existing diseases.

    Most allopathic hospitals in Tamil Nadu were providing Siddha Medicines like Kabasura neer and nilavembu decoctions but criticising these Indigenous Medicines system as unproven, untested etc

    Why should not integrate all native systems with allopathy. After all Ayurveda, Siddha etc also study anatomy and physiology

    • “Ayurveda, Siddha etc also study anatomy and physiology”

      Want to trust your life to the non-existent surgical skills of ayurvedic, allopathic and siddha quacks?

    • That’s because they are unproven and untested.
      If you do proper tests, why will anyone complain?
      But you can’t have different reality for India. All scientists in the world should find the tests to be reasonable.
      Currently AYUSH trials are bogus and they are not believed outside India.

  15. Nowhere in the world is there any integration of this sort. There is only science based medicine and pseudo science based medicine.
    How can the two be integrated. Let people make their own choices not the government dictating to them.

    Is this an initiative from the bureaucrats and politicians? Are professors and practitioners of modern medicine in India involved in this, will they be consulted? Or is this part of vote bank politics to protect the business of ayush practitioners?

  16. Govt must consult wide number of specialists and experts within India and abroad before formulating Health and Education policies. Study the systems being followed in Australia, Scandaniveans, China, Japan, US…
    These should be long term forward looking with open mind.

  17. Very good idea.Quacks will rule the health services.Quacks will become referral Center for big hospitals with a big cut in the bill.

    • What is the point in students today studying so hard for NEET and trying to get a MBBS degree which is science based and evidence based medicine.

      By interfering with medical education, maybe they will make every one a quack in India. Hospitals will ensure business for quacks.

    • So true Mr Jawaharlal ! Sadly, quacks are running almost every aspect of the country these days.

      Take for instance demonetisation.

      Anil Bokil of an NGO called Arthakranti who is no economist and has no formal education in economics managed to persuade Modi to undertake demonetisation. Joining this chorus was Baba Ramdev, never mind the fact that he himself held vast quantities of illicit wealth, safely stashed in overseas accounts. The RBI is asked to study demonetisation and Raghuram Rajan’s team strongly advises against removing 86% of the country’s currency and delivering an unwanted liquidity shock.

      Guess whom the PM believed?

      That in a nutsehll is BJP policymaking – pseudoscience, RSS apparatchiks and AdAmbanism.

  18. The reductionist approach of Allopathy of treating every organ of human body separately has resulted in too many specialisation, leading to skyrocketing of health care costs. It has also resulted in conflicting advice of specialists, and unco-ordinated treatment. Instead of treating the patient, organs are treated. There is need to return to holistic approach to human healthcare.

    • Diseases affect organs and body parts. Reason for specialised system of modern medicine is knowlege regarding specific organs or tissues and the diseases that affect them. The only notion of a person is from the brain. Our body is just a mass of cells and tissues and it is the brain that gives the notion of anyone being a individual person.

      And then by practising these old medical systems we can return to the old mortality rates, infant mortality rates and deaths due to infectious diseases at start of 20th century?

      The words you use like “holistic”, “treating the whole patient” is a lot of woo…there is no scientific precision in such words.

      • Excellent comment Vickey.
        People forget the mortality rates from the last century.
        Most don’t even know them.

        TB meant death for many in traditional systems.
        Leprosy meant goodbye limbs in traditional systems.

        People just don’t read history, they just imagine whatever they want.

    • In mumbai homeopathic doctor and allopathic general physician consultation fee is almost the same in a private clinic.

      For diagnostics and procedures obviously allopathy needs equipment so there are costs in this medical system which allopathic hospitals have to account for. Since allopathy is science based, diagnostic equipment is based on physics and chemistry principles. Diagnostics helps to remove guesswork from allopathic doctors. Whereas lack of diagnostic equipment in ayush systems leads to guesswork and no clear understanding of the disease.

    • Mr Gururaj: Your claim that Western medicine has an organ centric approach and not a holistic one when treating a patient is preposterous to say the least.

      Each organ in the human body is an extremely complex piece of machinery that interacts with the rest of the body and other organs through intricate and very subtle mechanisms. It is this staggering complexity and enormous body of knowledge on specific organs or systems of the body that warrant specialisations such as cardiology, nephrology, gastro-enterology, ophthalmology and so on. Additionally, gender based specialisations such as gynaecology and obstetrics are also seen in Western medicine. And then you have specialisations such as dentistry, emergency medicine, nursing, neonatology, paediatrics etc. But the fact is specialisation either in the treatment of specific organs or genders does not necessarily mean the specialist ignores the linkages between that particular organ and other organs or the body as a whole. Hence, the “reductionist” approach you allude to is a mere figment of your imagination.

      As regards your claim that costs are shooting up, well we are then in the realm of economics of mediccal care in India and that is a huge topic in itself. Suffice it to say that Indian health care caters to and is designed for the rich. And sadly so. But tackling that issue of unaffordable medical care costs is something for the government and private sector actors to resolve – probably. Maybe Modi would award a contract to Ambani to create a medical equivalent of JIO and dub it as “JEETHE RAHO” or some such catchy phrase ! But high care costs are not the fault of Western medicine per se but come down to the economics of suply and demand in a market where the government has virtually abdicated its role as a regulator.

  19. Personally not expert in medicine but it sounds that a good initiative, health care should be in focus and priority in govt agenda any holistic approach would be great.

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