New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre's response of the Centre on a plea seeking to implement an Indian Holistic Integrated Medicinal Approach rather than the colonial segregated way of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy in order to secure the right to health.
Issuing notice in the matter to respondents -- Health Ministry, Ayush Ministry, Home Ministry and Law Ministry, the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi, and Justice Navin Chawla said the court will direct the Centre to consider the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) as a representation.
During the course of the hearing, the court observed that "ultimately these are policy issues they have to consider." Directing the respondents to file their responses within eight weeks, the court posted the hearing for September 8.
BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, in the PIL, said that a substantial proportion of active health workers were found not adequately qualified and more than 20 per cent of qualified health professionals are not active.
Around half of the population is living below the poverty line and around 70 per cent dwelling in rural areas and 52 per cent of these doctors are practicing in just five states Maharashtra (15 per cent), Tamil Nadu (12 per cent), Karnataka (10 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (8 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (7 per cent).
Thus, rural Indian areas still remain deprived of medicinal benefits. These results reflected highly skewed distribution of health workforce across States. Since the majority of Allopathic doctors reside in five states, thereby restricting the medical benefits of other states by just providing them with remaining 48 per cent population of doctors, the PIL read.
As doctors are confined to a few states but patients reside across India, it has led to introduction of several health care mediators and they are ruining the integrity of Indian health care system as they tend to fetch more money from patients in the name of providing better treatment. This situation is highly un-ethical and illegal as it will deprive the diseased individuals from attaining health benefits due to their inability to pay high health expenses, he said.
In order to meet, WHO guidelines in India we have an alternative force of medical professionals who have always been neglected by the Government and are capable of providing a supporting hand to uplift our health care status.
The petitioner also stated that there are 7.88 lakh Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors. Assuming 80 per cent availability, it is estimated that 6.30 lakh AUH doctors may be available for service and considered together with allopathic doctors, it gives a doctor population ratio of around 1:1000.
He sought to implement a Holistic Integrated Common Syllabus and Common Curriculum of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy for all Medical Colleges in order to secure the right to health guaranteed under Articles 21, 39(e), 41, 43, 47, 48(a).
The Centre should be directed to constitute an Expert Committee having Experts in Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy to examine the Integrated Healthcare Approach of the developed countries and particularly China and Japan, the plea read.
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