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Parl Panel Urges Govt to Encourage Pvt Insurance Coverage for Ayush Treatments

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

February 26, 2024

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This recommendation stems from a broader effort to bridge the gap between traditional Ayush therapies and modern medicine.

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare has advocated inclusion of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (Ayush) treatments under private insurance coverage. 

The committee emphasized the need for the government to persuade private insurance companies to integrate Ayush treatments into their products. This recommendation stems from a broader effort to bridge the gap between traditional Ayush therapies and modern medicine.

The committee also urged the government to explore global acceptance of Ayush systems through legalization and insurance support in other countries. Additionally, by recognizing the importance of education, the committee proposed incorporating awareness of Ayush systems into school curricula. This step aims to break down knowledge barriers and promote understanding between Ayush and modern medical practices.

Integration for Comprehensive Healthcare

Highlighting the significance of integrating Ayush with mainstream healthcare, the committee recommended co-locating Ayush facilities at primary healthcare centers (PHCs) and community health centers (CHCs). Through this integration, conventional and traditional healthcare services will be offered under one roof, and Ayush treatments can be more easily accessed.

Moreover, the committee suggested sharing infrastructure, medical equipment, and administrative staff between Ayush facilities and allopathic teams to optimize resource utilization and cost-effectiveness while ensuring comprehensive patient treatment plans. 

Calls for Collaboration & Development

The committee stressed the importance of collaboration between the Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to implement measures to integrate Ayush and modern medicine. This collaboration seeks to establish a pluralistic health system catering to diverse healthcare needs.

Furthermore, the committee recommended the appointment of specialist practitioners in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Yoga, and Siddha at co-located facilities. This measure aims to enhance the quality of Ayush services and broaden their scope, particularly in managing chronic conditions such as respiratory ailments, digestive problems, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Previous Concerns Addressed by Parliamentary Committees

In another development, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers expressed dissatisfaction with the sluggish progress in implementing the scheme to promote medical device parks. The committee highlighted concerns regarding the underutilization of allocated funds and urged the department to prioritize the scheme's implementation.

Additionally, the committee recommended the inclusion of medium and high-end medical devices essential for critical care in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, this recommendation underscores the importance of ensuring access to vital medical devices for public health interests.

The committee's report focused on promoting the medical device industry. It explored plans by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to expand price regulations to cover a broader range of medical devices used in government hospitals. Currently, only four medical devices are included in the NLEM, and the committee advocated for broader inclusion to address critical healthcare needs effectively.

Furthermore, Parliament’s Department-related Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers recently proposed measures to support domestic manufacturing of medical devices. Recommendations include reducing GST rates, providing short-term custom-duty concessions on imported components, and extending the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) to cover a broader range of medical devices.

The recommendations put forth by the parliamentary committees underscore the importance of integrating traditional healthcare practices such as Ayush into mainstream healthcare systems. 


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