The Rajya Sabha passed two Bills Wednesday for setting up separate commissions for homoeopathy and other traditional systems of medicine.
While the National Commission for Homeopathy will replace the existing regulator — Central Council of Homoeopathy — the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (covering Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and the Tibetan system of medicine) will come in place of the Central Council for Indian medicine.
Aside from setting up the new bodies, the two legislations aim to ensure availability of quality medical professionals of Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy and also the adoption of the latest research.
Speaking before the passage of the two Bills, AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik said there was a global demand for research collaboration on traditional systems of medicine and that Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with 14 countries on this front.
He also emphasised that under the Narendra Modi government, the AYUSH ministry has been utilising the entire budget allocation for traditional medicine, which wasn’t the case earlier.
Earlier, during the discussion, several MPs, while supporting the two Bills, had objected to the exclusion of yoga and naturopathy from the ambit of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine. To this, Naik assured the House that the government would bring a separate legislation to cover yoga and naturopathy.
Many members of the Opposition also questioned the government on why it hasn’t implemented all the suggestions made by the standing committee on the provisions of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav asked why the recommendations on including one member each from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the governing boards of the two new bodies was ignored. Yadav was the head of the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, that scrutinised the Bill. The JD(U)’s Kahkashan Perween raised the issue of exclusion of naturopathy and yoga.
The parliamentary panel had also suggested that there should be an appellate tribunal for both commissions, which wasn’t accepted either.
Amar Patnaik of the BJD said the Bills lack vision on several aspects — including scientific research in the field. Congress member Jairam Ramesh called for the integration of medical education, in which all systems of medicine are taught to students in the first two-and-a-half years and students can then choose their specialisation.
He also said that Indian systems of medicine need to focus on research and clinical systems of documentation to progress. —(With PTI inputs)