April 2017

Delivering Healthcare the Natural Way

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Dr Singray Soren
Adviser (Homoeo), Ministry of Ayush

With AYUSH system of medicines gaining prominence in treating diseases – both communicable and non-communicable – with apparently no side-effects, people’s trust has only deepened in the efficacy of this alternative medicine system over the years. Dr Singray Soren, Adviser (Homoeo), Ministry of Ayush, in conversation with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN), tells us more about the efforts being made to help people benefit from this natural medicinal system. Excerpts:

What has been the response to AYUSH systems of medicine in the country? How effective has it been in treating chronic diseases?

Earlier, modern drugs use to be the first choice of people, but now the AYUSH system comprising Unani, Homeopathy and Ayurveda has gained immense popularity amongst people.

This alternative medicine system is reliable without any side-effects. It has attracted people who have experienced nausea while travelling on long routes, senior citizens and people who are uncomfortable taking modern drugs.

Even for chronic diseases, AYUSH has developed effective medicines.

We have used tulsi, guava, aampatta in our medicines. It protects the environment and also provides natural care to the patients.

By carving out a separate ministry for AYUSH, the government has highlighted the reach of alternative medicines in the country more effectively. We hope that more and more people will benefit from the AYUSH system in coming years.

How has Homeopathy evolved in the country over the years?

Earlier, Homeopathy was considered as a system of medicine for the poor owing to its cost-effectiveness. Although the Homeopathy treatment cost has now gone up, a large number of people still prefer it over Allopathic system. Several chronic diseases, diabetes, stomach related infections are easily treatable through alternative medicines. Proper diagnosis of such diseases can be undertaken by qualified AYUSH doctors.

People trust and come to us. People who are afraid of injections and side-effects of Allopathic medicines also come to us. The dosage regimen is easy to follow. There is no restriction on the patient taking homeopathic medicines, which allows therapeutic process more effective.

What kind of challenges the AYUSH Ministry is facing in raising awareness about traditional systems of medicine amongst people?

AYUSH doesn’t cover surgery. All the other medicinal therapies are taken care of by AYUSH programmes. We are also doing research on herbs and plants used in ancient times to make new medicines.

Which initiatives have the central government undertaken to promote the AYUSH system of medicines?

AYUSH medicines are drawing people even from foreign countries, who are increasingly adopting the natural medicine system of India. The Indian government is creating awareness about this alternative medicinal system. Doctors are getting additional training in this system to serve people in rural areas.

Is government providing any incentive to attract people to this natural medicine system?

People have now started demanding incentives. We are the only system that can eradicate diseases from the root. We are making medicines from natural processes. We use tulsi, guvava, aampatta, etc, in our medicines. It protects the environment and also provides natural care to the patients.

Are you planning some new programmes to promote AYUSH?

We are trying our best to promote AYUSH programmes.

The government has already laid down the National Policy on Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy- 2002 which among other things envisages overall growth and development of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy. The Government of India has also formulated programmes and introduced operational measures for promotion of AYUSH medical practices through centrally sponsored scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and various other central sector schemes.

How is Information Technology being used in initiatives undertaken by the AYUSH ministry?

Information Technology is the key to raise awareness about the AYUSH programme. There will be no progress without it. We are going to implement new IT technologies in our departments soon.

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