Schwabe News Volume 2 | Issue 2 | April 2011
New Delhi, March 24 (IANS): The Public Accounts Committee has recommended converting the Department of Ayush into a separate ministry. The committee had presented its report on the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to the parliament. The implementation of the NRHM came under sharp attack from the committee, with the health ministry being asked to carry out a "complete re-appraisal and restructuring" of the project. In the report, it has also lamented that the government's expenditure on public health was merely 1.1 percent of the GDP. An "appalled" PAC also noted that the per capita expenditure in India on public health was still worse at $7, even less than that of neighbouring Sri Lanka at $30.
The PAC recommended that the Department of Ayush should be converted into a full-fledged ministry and for the promotion of indigenous systems of medicine such as ayurveda, unani, siddha, naturopathy, homoeopathy and yoga in rural areas. It also emphasized the formulation of a five-year special plan for the Ayush department to encourage cultivation of herbal medicines for domestic consumption and export.
The PAC, in its report, further said it was dismayed to note that health centres at various levels were being used as foodgrain godowns, community halls, local offices or cow sheds in many of the 18 states where the NRHM is being implemented. It said the health centres also lacked necessary infrastructure, doctors, medical supplies and trained health workers. "The committee apprehended that the goal of universal health care to all the citizens as envisaged in the mission may remain a pious platitude and a distant dream unless the budgetary outlays for the NRHM for both the terminal year of 11th plan and for the 12th plan period are scaled up significantly commensurate with the problem," it added.
Lucknow: Now UP is all set to become the first state in the country to launch a two-year diploma in homoeopathy pharmacy (also called homoeopathy compounder course) that would produce homoeopathy pharmacists for operating government dispensaries in the state. Two government homoeopathy colleges in the state - one each in Lucknow and Allahabad with 100 seats for the course - would provide training to the aspiring candidates in the academic session starting this year. Uttarakhand has also shown interest in launching the course to bolster homoeopathy dispensaries in the state in the next year. All the 200 seats under the course have been filled through competition, and the course is all set to make its beginning this year, said the Registrar, Homoeopathy Medicine Board (UP), while talking to TOI on Monday. Saying that the eligibility criterion for application under the course has been fixed as intermediate pass-out in science stream, he also said that the move would bolster homoeopathy pharmacy besides reviving the government dispensaries.
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