Parliament monsoon session: LS passes Homoeopathy and Indian systems of medicine bills
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019 and The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019, were passed in Lok Sabha on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament on Monday.
The bills were passed in Rajya Sabha in January, 2019, to regulate alternative systems of medicine on the lines of the National Medical Commission Bill, and create a new regulatory body for homoeopathy in the country.
To introduce transparency and quality, the Indian System of Medicine bill proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam for all graduates to obtain their license to practice Indian medicine.
The bill will replace the Central Council for Indian Medicine that regulates alternative systems of medicine.
There is a provision for constituting four autonomous boards dedicated to providing Ayurveda education under Board of Ayurveda, and training in Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa under Board of Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa.
Two common boards, which are, the board of assessment and rating to grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of medicine, and the board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems to maintain a national register and address ethical issues, will relate to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine.
“This should help regulate the sector, but the idea of having an exit exam is likely to meet with some resistance,” said an Ayush researcher, requesting anonymity.
The National Commission for Homoeopathy, Bill, 2018, aims to replace the Central Council for Homoeopathy, which is the current regulatory body for homoeopathy. It proposes a teacher’s eligibility test to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
The National Commission will have three autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of homoeopathy by homoeopathy education board. The board of assessment and rating will grant permission to educational institutions, while the board of ethics and registration of homoeopathy practitioners will maintain the national register and address ethical issues.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan introduced the bills on behalf of Shripad Yesso Naik, the minister for Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).
The health minister also introduced the much-awaited assisted reproductive technology (ART) Bill in the Lok Sabha. “When we were introducing the Surrogacy Bill last year, we were told that we should also bring in the ART Bill as both go hand in hand. Therefore, I introduce the ART bill in the House,” he said.
The bill aims to lay down guidelines for dos and don’ts of running ART clinics and conducting procedures in the country. It proposes constitution of a national board that will set the minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory and diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by clinics and banks.
There will be a National Registry and Registration Authority to maintain a central database and assist the National Board in its functioning. The bill also proposes for a stringent punishment for those found practising sex selection, or involved in sale of human embryos or gametes, running agencies, rackets, and also organisations found violating the law.