A parliamentary panel criticised the ministry of Ayush or traditional healthcare on Thursday, wondering if it is “really doing anything” apart from organising the annual Yoga Day.
The members wanted the ministry to explain its role in tackling the growing cases of chikungunya and dengue in the national capital.
Ayush secretary Ajit Sharan spoke about its awareness campaign. But estimates committee chief, BJP veteran Murali Manohar Joshi, asked if it has treated patients in the traditional way or published scientific reviews. Some members questioned the “need” for such a ministry if it can’t help in a crisis.
After coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had upgraded the health ministry’s Ayush department to a separate ministry.
When the officials mentioned about their collaboration with the Medical Council of India (MCI) — the governing body for medical education — Joshi said, “We are unable to understand your seriousness. You talk about coordination with the mainstream healthcare, but which is the mainstream? The one practised for hundreds of years, or the stream (allopathy) which is used for some decades?”
Members like Md. Selim of CPI (M) pointed out that the MCI don’t consider Ayush-trained healthcare specialists as doctors. Joshi also pulled up an adviser to the ministry for introducing himself as a doctor: “How can you be a doctor? You are a vaid (ayurveda expert).”
Members doubted if the ministry is able to promote yoga — a pet subject of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and pointed out the lack of standards in yoga training. It was also pointed out that many Ayush specialists eventually resort to allopathic treatment.