AYUSH gasping for breath due to government's neglect
Published: 10th June 2013 11:47 AM |
There are not enough number of qualified practitioners of alternative systems of medicine, though people suffering from ailments still repose faith in them since they are relatively free of side-effects.
Though the number of aspirants to study of Ayurveda, Yoga-Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) is growing steadily, the seats available in the existing colleges account for only nine per cent of the total medical seats in the state..
The 40 MBBS colleges in the state have a total intake of approximately 5,500 students a year, which is likely to be enhanced by additional 800 MBBS seats. But the intake of students is just 470 for AYUSH colleges which include four Ayurveda, two Unani and four Homoeopathy colleges in the entire the state. In comparison, Maharashtra and Karnataka have 68 and 58 colleges respectively.
In the last two years, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) has withdrawn permission for two Ayurveda colleges which resulted in a loss of 80 seats. Last year (2012-13), 15 seats in Unani colleges were cancelled in Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has 390 seats and Kerala 50 for study of Siddha. Elsewhere, including Andhra Pradesh, the patronage for and the study of this ancient Indian system of medicine is pathetically poor.
Former additional director of homoeopathy Dr N. Linga Raju says: “ For every ten years a new Homoeopathy college is established which has to be considered as an achievement. In our state we have four Homoeopathy colleges with an intake of approximately 180 students. Another 40 seats are likely to be added this academic year.”
The budget for 2013-14 for various colleges under AYUSH varies. Ayurveda has been allocated Rs 17.21 crore, Homoeopathy Rs 15.82 crore and Unani Rs 8.27 crore. Of the overall allocation, around 90 percent is spent on salaries and the remaining 10 percent on infrastructure of the colleges and the three state-run pharmacies. All the colleges together receive Rs 41 crore and the pharmacies around Rs 1 crore. The lack of funds has cost the establishment of new institutions and recruitment of faculty and improving facilities at the existing hospitals as well as colleges, say officials.
AYUSH commissioner Dr KP Srivasuki says that two new Ayurveda colleges are likely to be set up this year, one at Vijayawada and the other at Warangal. “I have submitted a proposal to the Central Council of Indian Medicine(CCIM) as well as the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) to integrate different streams of medicine in bachelor’s course which will impart overall and comprehensive knowledge to students,’’ he says.