Byline: Balpreet. Singh, Manoj. Kumar, Amarjeet. Singh
Background: National Policy on Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy (ISM and H policy) was formulated in 2002 to encourage the development of Ayurveda, Sidhha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy in India. This study proposes to assess the views of public health experts on current implementation of ISM and H Policy. Methods: An online questionnaire was designed to ascertain the views of public health experts on ISM and H Policy and mailed to 100 public health experts. The tool was tested for content validity and a pilot study was done. Results were analyzed with the help of SPSS version 16. Results and Conclusion: Response rate was 61%. Majority of experts considered implementation status of ISM and H Policy as poor. Lack of quality education was mentioned as major factor responsible for current scenario of ISM and H Policy by most of experts. Lack of funds and government support were emerged as major bottlenecks in implementation of ISM and H Policy.
India has the unique distinction of having seven recognized systems of medicine, which are Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy, Amichi, and Homeopathy. During British rule despite public faith and strength of the Indian systems, these systems of medicine were dominated by western medicine. The denigration of traditional wisdom reached its zenith in 1835, when Lord Macaulay settled the controversy over whether government should support indigenous or western learning by ordering that western knowledge should be exclusively encouraged in all areas governed by east India company. Thereafter only western medicine was recognized as legitimate and eastern systems were actively discouraged.
At the dawn of 20 [sup]th century, with the assertion of Indian nationalism, interest in Indian art and science reawakened and Indian systems of medicine began a gradual renaissance. Bhore Committee and Mudaliar Committee, which brought the revolution in Health System of India, identified the importance of ISM. After that, the Indian government set up several high-level committees to advise it on the course of action it should adopt in relation to ISM. [sup], Chopra report recommended the complete integration on ISM and modern medicine but due to the influence of the allopathic professionals on the design of health care systems, recommendations regarding the incorporation of indigenous practitioners into the national health services were simply not followed through. [sup] Later on the strengths of a traditional system was internationally recognized.
In 1980, WHO advocated the adoption of the primary health care model. This focused on developing community participation through the involvement of locally acceptable people like practitioners of traditional medicine. [sup] UNICEF also recommended the mobilization and training of indigenous practitioners (including traditional birth attendants or dais ). In 1977, with the launch of the Community Health Worker Scheme, a fresh impetus was given to the attempt to involve rural, institutionally nonqualified, traditional practitioners as voluntary, paramedical community workers. [sup] Simultaneously, serious efforts were also made to base primary health care strategies on the use of indigenous plant drugs grown in local herbal...
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