Alternative medicine under Ayush to be included under PMJAY

Ayush consists of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy forms of treatment. These forms of treatment are presently not under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). The Ayush ministry has proposed the inclusion of 19 Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha, eight yoga and six naturopathy treatments under PMJAY. The Ayush ministry is also proposing to include mental illness like clinical depression.

The government has been in favour of the alternative forms of medicines. However, the health ministry is in a dilemma over the inclusion of these schemes. Officials in the ministry are of the view that the inclusion of these alternative forms of medicines may lead to fraud. It would be difficult to ascertain the correctness of the claim.

Experts say that there is a lack of standardisation of in treatment under Ayush. The alternative forms of medicine are proprietory in nature and anybody can open a centre for treatment. Also, the composition of most of the medicines under Ayush depends on the practitioner’s tweaking of recipes. Hence, treatment may vary from one practioner to another practioner.

The Ayush ministry is currently working with AIIMS to develop a set of rules for specific treatments. The ministry is also looking at having a system of scientific research to maintain evidence of the form of medicine. The ministry may also compile treatment templates from the texts to make a justifiable case for the inclusion of alternative medicines.

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