Ayurvedic doctors want no restriction in Army hospitals

| | New Delhi

The ayurvedic doctors have welcomed Defence Ministry’s move to implement alternative medicine in Army hospitals and urged the Ministry to remove certain hindrances in the decision.

According to the Ayurvedic Doctors’ Association, the present decision allowing Ayurvedic treatment to only “terminally ill patients” does not exploit the full potential of ayurveda treatment which should be available for treating other ailments too.

Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), which is dominated by allopathic stream doctors, vehemently opposed the implementation of alternative medicine treatments in forces for decades even after several court orders. Last month, the AFMS decided to allow use of alternative medicines and treatment for certain ailments in coordination with AYUSH Ministry.

“This initiation by AFMS is welcome, but it should have been earlier. Further, by restricting Ayurveda to terminal illness care, where Allopathy has failed, the potential of Ayurveda system of medicine shall not be utilised in full. Instead, Ayurveda should be used where it has most potential such as in degenerative diseases, repeated stress injuries suffered by soldiers, immuno-modulatory effects, mental stress, rehabilitation, etc.” said Dr Rejith Anand, general secretary, Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI) in a statement.

“While we welcome the steps to initiate pilots and experiments in incorporation of Ayurveda and other systems of medicine to treat Indian soldiers, veterans and their dependants, we urge the AFMS not to be patronising and restrict access of these specialists only to terminally ill patients. We take note with concern the approach of the AFMS that specialists of Ayurveda would be provided access to only terminally ill patients,” said AyurVAID Hospitals CEO Rajiv Vasudevan.

The Ayurveda doctors suggested that AFMS work with an open mind and look at five select chronic diseases and areas of rehabilitation in consensus with AYUSH Department, areas such as Arthritis, Diabetes, Injury Rehabilitation among the many others, and adopt an evidence based approach for evaluation and establishment of Ayurveda as the preferred mode or form of care.

The ayurvedic doctors launched legal battle in mid 2011 after ‘The Pioneer’ reported how the army denied ayurvedic medical expenses of NSG commando PV Manesh, wounded in 26/11 Mumbai terror operation. Discharged as paralysed from Army hospital, Manish started walking after months of Ayurvedic treatment. ButArmy did not reimburse his medical expenses.In 2011, Advocate Arjun Harkauli had filed a PIL in this regard in Delhi High Court. Later inNovember 2013, Defence Minister AK Antony intervened and allowed all benefits to ailing Manesh.



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