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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-65

How Ayushman Bharat can be a boon in uplifting ancient AYUSH medical wisdom

Department of Sanskrit Samhita Siddhant, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurveda College, Hospital and Research Centre, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication21-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Dr. Shyam Bhutada
Mahatma Gandhi Ayurveda College, Hospital and Research Centre, Salod (H), Wardha 442001, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_51_19

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How to cite this article:
Bhutada S. How Ayushman Bharat can be a boon in uplifting ancient AYUSH medical wisdom. J Indian Sys Medicine 2019;7:63-5

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Bhutada S. How Ayushman Bharat can be a boon in uplifting ancient AYUSH medical wisdom. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jul 26];7:63-5. Available from: https://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2019/7/2/63/271418

“It is health that is real wealth and not the pieces of gold and silver”

Mahatma Gandhi

In current scenario, the rapidly progressing industrialization as well as the changed individual lifestyle and altering environmental conditions have greatly affected individual health and it is become one of the major concern in developing as well as developed countries. It is clear that health status of population is directly proportional to growth and development of the nation.[1] India is not an exemption to this as India in tandem with its rapid social as well as economic development is experiencing major rapid health changeover with a increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) surpassing the trouble of communicable diseases over the last quarter century.[2] It has reflected urgent need for planning to improve health-related scheme as well as to plan and implement new schemes in view of promoting nations health-related services in order to avoid future health crisis. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (GOI) is responsible for planning, undertaking, and successful execution of various health-related strategies. MoHFW has played a significant role in increasing health standard of the nation as well as in implementing strategy, which have broad positive outcomes. Ayushman Bharat Mission (ABM), launched in 2018, is one of the recently implemented strategies by MoHFW, GOI, which can be claimed as a unique strategy addressing health-care holistically and first to be most beneficial scheme for Indian system of medicine (ISM) which includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH).

Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) aims at creating interventions in primary, secondary, and tertiary health-care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to holistically address the health care.[3] It is founded based on two major health initiatives, viz. health and wellness centers (HWS) and NHPS. According to the policy, HWS are the foundation of India’s health system under which 1.5 lakh centers will be bringing health-care system nearer to the homes of common people. These centers will be providing comprehensive health care such as treatments for NCDs, maternal, and child health services along with free essential drugs and diagnostic services. Rs.1200 crore budget has been allocated for this program. Contribution of private sector through corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centers is also envisaged. The second flagship program of ABM, that is, NHPS, will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government-funded health-care program. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this program.[4]

In India, about 65% population depend on traditional health-care system specially Ayurveda.[5] ABM, the ambitious government health-care scheme, may soon offer patients an option to pursue alternative treatments such as Ayurveda and Yoga. Proposal moved by the Union Ministry for AYUSH goes through 10% of the total HWS envisaged under ABM will offer treatments from these schools as well.[6] Therefore, schemes such as ABM can uplift AYUSH system in few ways, which are presented here.

Treating the disease and protecting health of healthy individuals are the two major goals of AYUSH systems, which are also two main approaches behind promoting ABM. As Indian health care is largely dependent on AYUSH system and more importantly AYUSH system includes modalities that insure management of lifestyle disorders, ABM expects as well as includes ISM contributions and thereby will uplift opportunities and scope for AYUSH sector. For example, pregnant women seeking antenatal care can approach AYUSH centers for advice on regimens such as Garbhini Charya, an Ayurvedic guide on food and lifestyle for a healthy childbirth, whereas diabetics can seek guidance on Yoga to manage the disease. Ministry of AYUSH has proposed interventions in 19 health-care categories, including pregnancy and childbirth, neonatal and infant care, family planning and contraception, management of communicable diseases, general outpatient care, and ophthalmic and ENT problems. Under various health-care schemes, sum of grants has been approved to AYUSH [Table 1].[7] In view of these facts, the proposal submitted to ABM and thereafter the received grants will be helpful in uplifting opportunities and scope for AYUSH sector. Similar more proposals are expected to be incorporated after successful involvement of these procedures.
Table 1: Budget allocated to AYUSH sector in India since 2008–09 to 2019

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  Popularization of AYUSH health system in prevention of diseases Top

AYUSH system primarily focuses on preventive approach and includes special methods to achieve this goal. Lifestyle modification, dietary regimens, Yoga, medications for Rejuvenation and ageing disorders, natural antioxidants, and immunomodulators are some of the interventional modalities of ISM, which has attracted attention of health scientist at global platform. Successful contribution of such modalities of ISM in success of ABM will increase significance as well as popularity of AYUSH systems. The world is in search of preventive aspects for diseases such as diabetes, skin ailments, anemia, mental illness, asthma, heart diseases, musculoskeletal, and ageing disorders. The rising hope for prevention of such ailments is the adoption and use of natural ways with natural medicines, which are the core of AYUSH system.

  Patient and social related outcomes Top

Under ABM, in order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country. This would ensure that there is at least one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies and at least one government medical college in each state of the country.[3] The scheme is also offering 5 lakh free health insurance to 50 crore people.[4] Such provision will definitely reduce the cost of therapies and will make most health-care schemes within reach of common people. Patient will have ease in accessing intensive care, which is specially expected in case of mother and child care. Thus, along with preventive and promotive health aspect, ABM will prove a boon in reducing the disease burden of country especially for economically poor classes.

No health-care facility can be functional without having the basic requirements which includes a well-trained physician, attendant having adequate knowledge, good location and infrastructure facilities, and availability of medicines. To increase the competency of AYUSH in serving the health care, along with proposed 19 procedures, few more strategies are to be proposed such as establishing ideal AYUSH wellness centre, Ayurveda Diet centers, Naturopathy centers, Yoga and meditation centre, Panchakarm facility, and centers for monthly Garbhini paricharya (ANC). These are the few important facilities for AYUSH centers in order to play significant role in achieving the goal of health for nation.

  Benefit for AYUSH researcher and educational organizations Top

Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) has been significantly contributing in AYUSH research and till date has validated 110 classical formulations for 60 conditions.[8] Few AYUSH educational organizations are also involved in such researches and both together are serving the health-care need of society. The academic and research institutions can work as knowledge partners and thus can significantly help in designing local solutions, thereby achieving the goal of schemes such as ABM. Ministry of AYUSH has submitted proposal for inclusion of 19 AYUSH treatment packages to be included the cashless health insurance scheme ABM. Through scientific and applied research, AYUSH researcher and educational organizations can bring forth new innovations and gain benefit from the scheme.

  Expected future positive outcome Top

The ISM has long history of over thousand years and has served health-care need of society even before the origin of modern medicines. However, due to few reasons the ISM has been lacking the attention and facilities required to flourish and spread through research and new innovations with help of modern technological advancements. In other words, the golden era for ISM still awaits in future and the best path to reach toward it is through significant solid scientific applied contribution at the national and international levels. Through ABM, AYUSH may prove its certain role in serving health-care needs of the nation. This will further lead to creations of provision in favor of research and development of AYUSH. As per planned expectation, ABM will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, well-being and avert wage loss, and impoverishment. These schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.

  Expected role of central and concerned state government in implementation of the project Top

There were 156,231 secondary health centers (SHC), 25,650 primary health centers (PHCs), and 5,624 community health centers (CHCs) in India as on March 31, 2017.[9] However, most of these facilities suffer from under-staffing, poor infrastructure, and lack of medicines and equipment. Only 11% of SHC, 16% of PHCs, and 16% CHCs meet the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS).[10] There is gross shortage of specialists and general physicians in all levels of system.[11] The central and concerned state government should identify such deficiencies and take measures to fulfill it. The central and concerned state government should also determine quality health centers, which are serving to society and should make attempts to increase competency of such centers by supplying the requirements. Increasing the competency of already existing centers will be chief and time saving strategy for implementation of ABM compared to establishing new health centers. Accessing and control over the quality of service is a difficult task and therefore it is suggestible to promote only health-care centers, AYUSH educational institutions, and hospitals that are NABH accredited.

ISM, that is, AYUSH, has the potential to answer the increasing global concern of lifestyle disorders and few chronic ailments. However to utilize AYUSH system up to its maximum potentials, it is must to provide necessary facilities and undertaking it in equivalence to modern medicine. Every medical science has its own strengths and thus the only way to drawn highest benefit from them is nourishing their strength and then applying it to get the expected outcomes. AYUSH systems have multidimensional strong disciplinary curative, preventive, and promotive approaches that are mentioned previously and these need to be considered to achieve the goal of health for all. ABM can be said as a strategy of first of its kind which will prove boon in uplifting ancient AYUSH medical wisdom.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Bloom DE, Canning D. Population Health and Economic Growth. The World Bank Report. Available from: https://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTPREMNET/Resources/489960-1338997241035/Growth_Commission_Working_Paper_24_Population_Health_Economic_Growth.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 1
Annual Report on “Other National Health Programmes.” Available from: https://mohfw.gov.in/sites/default/files/07Chapter.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 2
Ayushman Bharat for a New India – 2022, Ministry of Finance. Posted on February 1, 2018 at 1:31 pm by PIB Delhi. Available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1518544. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 3
Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission. Available from: https://www.india.gov.in/spotlight/ayushman-bharat-national-health-protection-mission. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 4
WHO. Fifty-Sixth World Health Assembly. Available from: http://apps.who.int/gb/archive/pdf_files/WHA56/ea5618.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 5
Available from: https://theprint.in/india/governance/yoga-for-diabetes-ayurveda-for-pregnant-women-what-ayushman-bharat-has-in-store/213798/. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 6
Lahariya C. ‘Ayushman Bharat’ program and universal health coverage in India. Indian Pediatr 2018;55:495-506.  Back to cited text no. 7
Ayush Proposes To Bring 19 Procedures Under Ayushman Bharat. Available from: https://www.medicalbuyer.co.in/ayush-proposes-to-bring-19-procedures-under-ayushman-bharat/. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 1].  Back to cited text no. 8
Government of India. Rural Health Statistics 2017. New Delhi, India: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhawan; 2017.  Back to cited text no. 9
Government of India. Report of the Task force on Primary Health Care in India. New Delhi, India: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhawan; 2017. p. 1-60.  Back to cited text no. 10
Central Bureau of Health Intelligence. National Health Profile 2017. New Delhi, India: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhawan; 2017. p. 1-270.  Back to cited text no. 11


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