KOCHI: Stressing the need to strengthen the healthcare system, Amrita Samyogam 2017 - International Conference on Integrative Ayurveda and Modern Medicine - has urged the Central Government to form a national policy on the integration of ayurveda and allopathy.
Inaugurating the event, Dr Rajesh Kotecha, Special Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, said a policy on integrative medicine would help improve the health sector. Once the policy is formulated, the country can become the global leader in integrative medicine, he said.
The two-day-event is being jointly organised by Amrita University’s School of Ayurveda and Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The conference has brought together allopathic doctors, ayurveda practitioners and modern scientists on a common platform to identify strategies for integrating ayurveda with allopathy in the management of cancer, auto-immune diseases like arthritis and diabetes, neuro-degenerative diseases and mental health.
Kotecha said in integrative health, all streams of health sciences come together in a synergistic manner to positively impact the health outcome. “The government is serious about promoting a model where experts in different domains contribute to health science and some transfer of knowledge occurs between each stream. Indian healing systems are holistic and intuitive - by definition, they cannot fully fit into all parameters demanded by western medicine,” he said.
Kotecha said the government was setting up a nationwide AYUSH grid connecting all hospitals and research labs to record case histories and observations so that a huge amount of evidence can be generated through data analytics about the efficacy of ayurveda. While robust research is being conducted in ayurveda, the problem arises in the implementation of integrative medicine at the level of public health. This is because ayurveda is still not accepted as a science by the allopathic community. The Government of India has decided to extend its full support to Amrita University’s initiative on integrative medicine, he said.
P Ram Manohar, research director, Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda, said the trend of integrative medicine is on the rise worldwide and India needs to emerge as the leader in the field. There is a need for practitioners of ayurveda and allopathy to collaborate and work together as one multi-disciplinary team to deliver better healthcare. “We need to develop integrated clinical trials and integrated practice guidelines for practitioners across different healthcare systems,” Manohar said.
Shantikumar Nair, director, Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita University, said allopathic medicine has distinguished itself with molecular level diagnostics and therapy. However, in many chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, allopathic care does not promise the cure.