After about 14 years since its last policy, the Union ministry of Ayush is in the process of drafting a new National Policy on AYUSH -2016.
The ministry’s initiative in this regard is significant as the earlier ‘National Policy on Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy’ was framed way back in 2002 and since then the country has witnessed a number of new developments in the field of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
These developments include launching of National Ayush Mission, bringing out MSR on Ayurveda, amendments in various Acts concerning Ayush, enhancing quality of education through regulatory bodies, provision of infrastructural facilities for drug industry to ensure safety and efficacy of Ayush drugs, the organization of World Ayurveda Congress in November, 2014, and the historic celebration of the first International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2015. Besides, global exposure to Ayush has also taken place in a big way since then. The ministry is drafting a new national policy on Ayush as there is renewed and focused thrust on the development of Ayush systems and their integration in the healthcare delivery system of the country, as has been emphasized on many occasions by Prime Minister NarendraModi.
The Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy continue to be widely used in the country due to their accessibility, and sometimes, because they offer the only kind of medicine within the physical and financial reach of the patient. The Indian medicine system is also embedded in the beliefs of a wide section of the public and continues to be an integral and important part of their lives and for some, it is also a way of life.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine or Traditional Medicine is rapidly growing worldwide. In India also, there is resurgence of interest in Indian Systems of Medicine. People are becoming concerned about the adverse effects of chemical based drugs and the escalating costs of conventional health care. Longer life expectancy and life style related problems have brought with them an increased risk of developing chronic, debilitating diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders. Although new treatments and technologies for dealing with them are plentiful, nonetheless more and more patients are now looking for simpler, gentler therapies for improving the quality of life and avoiding iatrogenic problems.