[Answered] “Revival of the traditional Indian systems of medicine, which comprises Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH), along with strengthening of modern medicine system will help in making healthcare system more accessible and affordable.” Discuss.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss how revival of traditional medicine will help in the achievement of universal healthcare?
Conclusion. Way forward.

In spite of incredible advances in modern science, technology and allopathic medicine a large we are unable to provide quality healthcare to all. Traditional medicine is considered as a major healthcare provider around the globe particularly in rural and remote areas. Indian traditional medicinal system like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani has a very rich history of their effectiveness. Mainstreaming of such medicine is important for the people. Evidence based incorporation of Indian traditional medicine in clinical practice will help to provide quality healthcare to all.

How revival of traditional medicine will help in the achievement of universal healthcare?

  1. In 21st century, tremendous advances in healthcare sector coexist with inequities in accessibility, availability and affordability of the healthcare facilities in many parts of India. Integration of Ayurvedic and others Indian traditional medicine in clinical practice will helpful to promote the health of the people who are unable to access the modern medicine properly.
  2. Variety, flexibility, easy availability, religious/social acceptance, relative low side effect and cost are the key factor for the need of revival of traditional medicine.
  3. The revival also provide us the opportunity to integrate such medicine in primary healthcare to facilitate the people health.
  4. A study in rural area of West Bengal shows that folk medicine play a key role to prevent common diseases likes small injuries, skin disease, fever, dehydration, diabetes, high BP, liver disease etc in better way.
  5. In rural areas, indigenous medicine play significant role in primary healthcare for prevention/management of common ailments.
  6. In India, the ratio of the doctor-patient is 1:1700 if we consider only allopathic doctors, the ratio will come to 1:800 if the AYUSH practitioners are added. This is much better than the WHO recommendation of 1:1000.
  7. At present, an acute shortage of allopathic doctors exists in the India and in rural areas this problem is higher and with very less presence in remote areas. AYUSH practitioners however have a much wider presence in rural and remote areas.
  8. Similarly, if quacks are trained they can be a vehicle of providing low cost healthcare especially on remote areas.
  9. Traditional medicine particularly herbal medicine playing important role in maintain of health in rural and remote areas. Inclusion of traditional herbal medicine in clinical practice will help to achieve the target ‘health for all’.

Indian traditional medicine like Ayurveda and others have sound scientific background of effectiveness and also acknowledged by the recent researches. Although efforts are needed to overcome barriers like irrational use, quality control and standardisation issues etc. Stick implementation of rules, monitoring and periodic revision of regulations are absolute necessary to promote Indian traditional medicine. Overall, adequate knowledge about the system, high quality clinical trial, proper information about such drugs and their effectiveness among common people required towards the promotion of such medicine.

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