Health as a topic is important for UPSC as it can be linked with three different sections across GS paper : Society, Polity (Health governance) and Economy (Development issues). It has become even more relevant with many issues associated with it like Medical Council of India, declining quality in medical education, issues of affordable medicine and Health Insurance (Ayushman Bharat) making news.
The Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2018 and the draft National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2018.
Placing it in syllabus
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
- Indigenous Medicine system and their importance
- Medical education in India
- National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2018
- Significance of the Bill
Indigenous Medicine system and their importance
- The doctrine of Ayurveda aims to keep structural and functional entities in a functional state of equilibrium, which signifies good health. Any imbalance due to internal and external factor causes disease and restoring equilibrium through various techniques, procedures, regimes, diet and medicine constitute treatment.
- The philosophy of Ayurveda is based on the theory of Pancha bhootas (five element theory) of which all the objects and living bodies are composed of.
- Most of the traditional systems of India including Ayurveda have their roots in folk medicine. However what distinguishes Ayurveda from other systems is that it has a well-defined conceptual framework that is consistent throughout the ages.
- In conceptual base, it was perhaps highly evolved and far ahead of its time. It was among the first medical systems to advocate an integrated approach towards matters of health and disease.
- Siddha system of medicine emphasize that medical treatment is oriented not merely to disease, but also has to take into account the patient, environment, age, habits, physical condition. Siddha literature is in Tamil and it is largely practiced in Tamil speaking parts of India and abroad.
- Siddha medicine has been used for the management of chronic diseases and degenerative conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune conditions, collagendisorders, and conditions of the central nervous system.
- Unani System of medicine (USM) is based on established knowledge and practices relating to promotion of positive health and prevention of diseases.
- Although Unani system originated in Greece, passed through many countries, Arabs enriched it with their aptitude and experience and the system was brought to India during Medieval period.
- Unani System emphasize the use of naturally occurring, most herbal medicines, though it uses ingredients of animal and marine origin.
- USM has been accepted worldwide because of its easy availability, cheaper and relatively safer than other conventional medicine. Nowadays USM is the best alternative choice of health care globally both in developed and developing countries. USM is an emerging field worldwide because it cures those diseases in which modern system fails like Bars (vatiligo), Dau sadaf (psoriasis), Iltehab-e-kabid (Infective Hepatitis), Hasat-ul-kulya wa masana (Renal and Bladder calculus) etc.
- Homeopathy is a system of medicine, which believes in a specialized method of treatment of curing diseases by administration of potency drugs, which have been experimentally proved to possess the power of producing similar artificial systems on human beings.
- Homeopathy gives great importance to mental health both in the treatment of physical and mental illnesses.
- The homeopathic understanding of health is intimately connected to its understanding of the mind in general. Homeopaths base virtually every homeopathic prescription on the physical and psychological symptoms of the sick person. Psychological symptoms often play a primary role in the selection of the correct medicine.
Yoga and Naturopathy
- Yoga is a way of life, which has the potential for improvement of social and personal behavior, improvement of physical health by encouraging better circulation of oxygenated blood in the body, restraining sense organs and thereby inducing tranquility and serenity of mind.
- Naturopathy is also a way of life, with drugless treatment of diseases. The system is based on the ancient practice of application of simple laws of nature.
- The advocates of naturopathy focus on eating and living habits, adoption of purification measures, use of hydrotherapy, baths, massage etc.
- In naturopathy, diseases are treated from holistic point of view as it is absent in other components of alternative medicine, where specific treatments are more common.
- Naturopathy has great health promotive, disease preventive, curative as well as preventive potential.
- Sowa-Rig-pa”, commonly known as Amchi medicine, is the traditional medicine of many parts of the Himalayan region used mainly by the Tribal and bhot people.
- Sowa-Rig-pa (BodhKyi) means ‘science of healing’ and the practitioners of this medicine are known as Amchi.
- Sowa-Rigpa is originated out of Ayurveda and is based mainly on the Áshtanga Hridaya’ treatise which is one of the three main Compendia of Ayurveda, was translated in to Tibetan language in 4th century.
- In India, this system of medicine has been popularly practiced in Ladakh and Paddar-Pangay regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Lahul-spiti, Pangi, Dhramshala and Kinnar region of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling-Kalingpong (West Bengal).
- Sowa-Rig-pa is a science, art and philosophy that provide a holistic approach to health care on the basis of harmony and understanding of human being and universe i.e. the environment.
- It uses diagnostic techniques for examples pulse and urine examination (eight fold examination) and it embraces the key Buddhist principles of altruism, karma and ethics
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018
The bill seeks to replace the existing regulator Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCIM) with a new body to ensure transparency.
- The draft bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Ayurveda, under Board of Ayurveda and Unani, Siddha &Sowarigpa under Board of Unaini, Siddha and Sowarigpa.
- There are two common Boards namely, Board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of Medicine and Board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine.
Composition of Commission :
(a) A Chairperson;
(b) 12 ex-officio Members; and
(c) 16 part-time Members.
Power and functions of commission :
- Lay down policies for maintaining a high quality and high standards in education of Indian System of Medicine and make necessary regulations in this behalf.
- Lay down policies for regulating medical institutions, medical researches and medical professionals and make necessary regulations in this behalf;
- Assess the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure and develop a road map for meeting such requirements;
- Frame guidelines and lay down policies by making such regulations as may be necessary for the proper functioning of the Commission, the Autonomous Boards and the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine;
- Ensure coordination among the Autonomous Boards;
- Take such measures, as may be necessary, to ensure compliance by the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the guidelines framed and regulations made under this Act for their effective functioning under this Act;
- Exercise appellate jurisdiction with respect to decisions of the Autonomous Boards;
- Ensure observance of professional ethics in Medical profession and to promote ethical conduct during the provision of care by medical practitioners;
- Exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as may be prescribed
- It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam, which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses.
- Further, a teacher’s eligibility test has been proposed in the Bill to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
- The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector in lines with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for Allopathy system of medicine.
- The proposed regulatory structure will enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interest of the general public.
Significance of the bill
- The status of practitioners of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has been under a huge controversy ever since the government proposed introducing a “bridge course” for them, which would allow them to perform certain procedures of modern medicines.
- The move was introduced ostensibly to address the shortage of doctors in rural and remote areas—a gap which is being filled, in many places, by AYUSH professionals.
- The NCIM will promote availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country
National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2018
The National Commission for Homeopathy, recently approved by the Union Cabinet, seeks to replace the existing regulator Central Council of Homoeopathy.
- Bringing reforms in the medical education of homoeopathy in line with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for allopathy system of medicine
- To promote transparency and accountability.
Salient features of the draft National Commission for Homeopathy bill:
- Constitution of a national commission with three autonomous boards.
- The Homoeopathy Education Board to be vested with the responsibility of overseeing the Homeopathy education in the country.
- The board of assessment and rating to assess and grant recognition to educational institutions of Homoeopathy.
- Board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Homoeopathy to maintain National Register and deal with ethical issues relating to practice.
- The bill also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses.
- The bill proposes a teacher’s eligibility test to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
Test Yourself : Mould your thoughts
(From now on question’s will posted in our free MANIFEST VLOG initiative)
1. Consider the following statements
- Health is a concurrent subject
- Unani as a system of medicine originally belongs to Arabs
Which of the above statements is /are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
2. Which of the following statements is/are correct about Sowa-Rigpa?
- It accepts the principles of Buddhism – Karma, Ethics and altruism
- It developed out of Ayurveda
Select the correct answer using codes below
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2