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    7.37 lakh Practitioners, 3600 Hospitals for AYUSH in India

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    Minister of State Shripad Yesso Naik allayed fears about reduction in the allocation of funds for development and promotion of alternative medicine streams like Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani (AYUSH). 

    The country has 7.37 lakh practitioners of alternative medicine streams like Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani registered with the AYUSH Ministry and over 3,600 AYUSH hospitals, the Rajya Sabha was informed tuesday (28-04-2015). Among them, Ayurveda practitioners' number is 3.99 lakh, while Homeopathy practitioners amount to 2.8 lakh.

    Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik said that as per his Ministry, there are 47,683 Unani, 8,173 Siddha and 1,764 Naturopathy practitioners registered in the country. Bihar leads the states with regard to Ayurveda practitioners with a whopping 96,648 of them registered there. It is followed by Maharashtra with 69,478 and Madhya Pradesh with 45,461. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, stands fourth with 43,332 Ayurveda practitioners.

    As far as Homeopathy practitioners are concerned, Maharastra leads with 59,831 registrations. It is followed by West Bengal with 36,415, Uttar Pradesh with 32,703 and Bihar with 30,536. There is no central regulatory board on Yoga and Naturopathy practitioners.

    Naik revealed that there are 3,601 AYUSH hospitals, including 2,827 Ayurvedic, 252 Unani, 264 Siddha and 216 Homeopathic operating across the country. The number of AYUSH dispensaries in the country added up to 25,492 of which 15,520 were Ayurvedic, 7,439 Homeopathic and 1,453 Nani dispensaries. The Minister added that there are 513 undergraduate and 145 post graduate AYUSH colleges across the country.

    In reply to another question, Naik said that Rs 75.28 crore was released during financial year 2014-15 under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) for development and promotion of AYUSH. 

    Naik allayed fears about reduction in the allocation of funds during the current financial year saying that Rs 317 crore has been projected as resource pool indication for the year 2015-16 under NAM.

    Replying to a question by another Rajya Sabha member, the minister said that central sector schemes for 'Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants' and 'National Mission on Medicinal Plants' are being implemented.

    Support is being provided for survey, inventorisation, in-situ and ex-situ conservation, herbal gardens, research and development, linkage with people's collectives like Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Joint Forests Management Committees, establishment of nurseries, post harvest management and marketing infrastructure. The Minister added that a Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established to check illegal trade and smuggling in wildlife and medicinal plants. 

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