MUMBAI: For every doctor practising allopathy in the state, there are two practising Ayurveda and Homeopathy.
There are roughly 90,000 registered practitioners of modern medicine in the state, but 80,000 ayurveda, 58,000 homeopathy and over 5,000 unani doctors. In short, every third doctor in the state has graduated in one of the alternative systems of medicine.
Further, data compiled by the central government’s department of ayurveda, unani, siddha, yoga & naturopathy and homeopathy (AYUSH) in 2011 had underlined the fact that Maharashtra is home to 15.78% AYUSH doctors, highest in the country, even ahead of Uttar Pradesh. That has 14.09% non-allopathic practitioners.
Till date, Maharashtra has 63 ayurveda colleges, of which only four are government-run. The story is quite similar for homeopathy. Of 184 colleges across the country, the state had 43 colleges, which came up in quick succession in the past few years. Interestingly, all homeopathy colleges in the state are privately owned. Head of the Directorate of Medical Education, Dr Pravin Shingare, said the state has not felt the demand to start a homeopathy college.
Intriguingly however, the private sector seems to have felt a pressing demand for the same. Between January and July, the Directorate of Ayurveda has already received proposals for four new homeopathy colleges and one ayurveda college, besides applications from 16 colleges to increase undergraduate and postgraduate seats.