Dr Narinder Kumar Dhand recently took over as the District Ayurvedic and Unani Officer. In conversation with Sameer Kumar Sharma, he talks about the development plans for the ayurvedic department and the changing image of Ayurveda in the state
Q* With the government appointing regular district ayurvedic officers, we are witnessing a change in the image of the department. How far do you expect this to continue?
For most of my career as an Ayurvedic medical officer, there has never been proper supply of medicines, let alone proper building and infrastructure for the Ayurveda offices.
However, all this is gradually changing and the Health Minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla has taken interest in the development of the Ayurvedic department in the state.
Q* There have been reports time and again that the Ayurvedic department staff members do not receive salaries on time. How is the situation now?
That is exactly what is going to change with the appointment of regular district ayurvedic officers in 14 districts.
Disburisng the salaries of staffers on time is our top priority.
We will ensure that all the employees receive their salaries on time.
Q* After the appointment of the AYUSH commissioner and the ayurvedic director, how does the department fare now?
It is true that states like Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have done really well when it comes to developing Ayurveda.
With Rakesh Sharma having taken over as the director and K B S Sidhu as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) commissioner, we have been on the right track of development.
People are turning towards Ayurveda and it is high time that we upgrade our facilities in the state. The department is shaping up well.
Q* What are the new developments taking place?
We are soon going to have an Ayurvedic Wing at the Civil Hospital as part of the under-one-roof scheme of the Centre, wherein treatments under Ayurveda and Homoeopathy will be provided.
While Rs 35 lakh has been sanctioned for the same, a special ayurvedic clinic is being set up in Khanna.
Q* What are the challenges that you are faced with at present?
I want all the nearly 50 ayurvedic pharmacies in the district to work towards achieving the standards of Goods Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in order that we have well-packaged good ayurvedic medicines available in the market.
The staffers working in dispensaries need to be regularised and I will ensure this happens soon.
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