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Delhi HC directs Niti Ayog to expedite the formulation of policy on “ Integrated Medical System”

New Delhi : The Delhi HC bench headed by Chief Justice SatishChandraSharma,while hearing aPILseekingaholisticsystemofmedicine directed NitiAayogcommitteetoexpeditethe processof formulationofapolicy on arobustintegratedmedical systemthat includesthebest ofvariousbranches ofmedicine. The bench observed that there existed a “wealth of knowledge” in different systems like allopathy, ayurvedaandhomeopathyanditshouldbeexaminedwhethertheycanbe integrated. The bench added “Basicunderstandingofhumanbodyisdifferentinayurvedaandallopathy.Allbodiesaremadedifferently…ifknowledge canbeintegrated,whynot?” AdditionalSolicitorGeneral ChetanSharma,appearingfor theCentre,saidsuch integration willhave “the bestof everything”.Thecourtalsomadetwoentities,MedicoLegalActionGroupandyogaexponentRamdev’sPatanjaliResearchInstitute, parties to the proceedings.

ThePIL has been filed by lawyer AshwiniKumar Upadhyay who told thecourt acommitteehasalreadybeenset upbytheNitiAayogto look at the issue.Upadhyayhasclaimedinhispetitionthatadoptionof aholisticapproach inthemedicalfield,whichcouldbea combinationofmodernandtraditionalmedicineatthelevelofeducation,training,practice,andpoliciesand regulations, would securethe right to health guaranteedunder Articles 21, 39(e), 41,43,47, 48(a), 5lAofthe Constitution andimprovethecountry’sdoctortopopulationratioandstrengthenthehealthcaresector.

To justify his stand on integrated medical system thepetitioner hassaidintegratedhealthsystems arepresent inseveralcountries includingChina,Japan,Korea,and Germany, andasserted “coordination of all medicalsystems”willbenefitpatients.”WehaveanalternativeforceofmedicalprofessionalswhohavealwaysbeenneglectedbytheGovernmentandare capableofprovidingasupportinghandtoupliftourhealthcarestatus.”Thereare7.88lakhAyurveda,Unani,andHomeopathy(AUH)doctors.Assuming80percentavailability,itisestimated that6.30lakhAUHdoctorsmaybeavailableforserviceandconsideredtogetherwithallopathicdoctors,itgivesadoctor populationratioofaround1:1000,”thepetitionsays.Itsayspractitionersofmodernmedicinehaveremainedconfinedtotheirnichewhichhasrestrictedtheirpracticeand cannotbenefitthediseasedindividualsbyusingothertherapeuticregimens.

“AnIntegratedHealth Systemisthe onlysolutionto achievethesustainablehealthgoalofIndia. Commonlypreferred allopathicmedicineischieflycomprisedofapproximately40percentplant-derivedcomponents(USDAForestService 2021).Ifallopathic medicineisoriginally madeofconstituents ofAYUSHthen whynot,we canacceptthem directlyas partofourregularmedicinalsupportsystem,”thepetitionsaid. Thecourt,duringthehearing,clarifiedthattheissueofintegrationwasfortheexpertstodecide. “Itisnotforyouandmetodecide.Itisfortheexpertstodecide,”itsaid. ThematterwillbeheardnextonJanuary19.