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    Experts urge govt to include Ayush in Ayushman Bharat

    Kolkata: The Centre's patronage for the traditional systems of medicine including Ayurveda is well known but what appears to be interesting is that AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) has not been included in the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), National medical insurance scheme inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. 

    The decision has shocked the senior officials of the Ayush Ministry or many others who are involved in the traditional forms of medication. The Center is yet to come up with any clarification why the old systems of medicine, originated in the country have been excluded from what has been claimed to be the biggest medical insurance policy in the country.

    It may be mentioned here that a senior professor from Banaras Hindu University, one of the oldest institutions in the country has written to the Prime Minister on 28-09-2018 seeking his intervention in this regard. If Ayush is not brought under the ambit of recently introduced national health scheme, people visiting the Ayush hospitals in the country would not be able to avail the benefits of the scheme.

    Dr.Anand K. Chaudhary, Professor and Head of department of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Ayurveda has urged the Prime Minister to cover Ayush under the Ayushman Bharat as more than 70 per cent people in the country directly or indirectly depend on herbs or plants by which medicines are prepared. According to an Ayush official, the traditional systems of medicines are playing important role in providing health care to large section of population, especially in developing country like India. 

    This is because of the affordability of people to buy Ayurvedic medicines that are of low cost, compared to that of alopathy. Dr.Chaudhary in his letter to the PM, pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has included the traditional medicines of different countries in its project 'Health for all by 2020'. This is a befitting recognition of potency of traditional medicines of respective countries. "If Ayush systems of medicines do not get its due recognition in its own country than how organisations like WHO may include Ayurveda in its global compendium being released in chapter 26 of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) by 2022 which may have business potency of US $ 50 billion in global markets," Dr.Chaudhary maintained. He also requested the Prime Minister to evaluate the demand for the inclusion of Ayush in the PMJAY in the interest of Indian citizens. 

    It can be mentioned that the Union ministry of Ayush has already tied up with the WHO in order to promote India's oldest form of medicine in the global arena. "Ayushman Bharat is incomplete without Ayurveda. There is a need of tertiary care in various Ayurvedic treatment. It would be beneficial for the poor people if it is brought under the scheme. We think our Prime Minister will consider the matter," Dr.Sumit Sur, Chief Physician, The Ayurveda Clinic and Research Centre in Kolkata said.

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