New Delhi: The week-long Army commanders’ conference which will begin here next Monday is expected to take a call on whether to introduce alternative and traditional Indian systems of medicine like ayurveda, unani, naturopathy, siddha, homoeopathy and Sowa Rigpa in Army hospitals across the country.
Listed as an item for discussion in the confidential agenda note prepared for the meeting of top Army brass, any final decision will be taken collectively via the collegiate system which will ensure due diligence.
The Army’s health services come under the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), which employs more than 6,000 doctors trained in allopathic medicine. Opening its doors to alternative systems of medicine would mean recruiting professional experts from these alternative medicine streams.
Nevertheless, last year the government allowed the use of such medicines on terminally-ill patients who have stopped responding to allopathic treatment and also allowing a trial study at a few top hospitals, including setting up two Ayush centres at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi and the Air Force Hospital near Hindon.
“After facing some resistance, finally it seems that the move to introduce such systems of medicine is finally attaining consensus,” said a top military official on condition of not being named.
All seven Army commanders, heads of defence public sector undertakings and the directors-general of various military units and branches, including the director-general of AFMS, attend the conference.