With Parliament giving its nod to two bills proposing quality and affordable medical education, the prospects for homoeopathy and the Indian system of medicine (ISM) are likely to increase.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha had passed the bills and now with Lok Sabha passing the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) Bill, they are set to become laws on receiving the formal approval from President Ram Nath . The NCH Billcan safeguard three areas in homoeopathy–education, research and general practice,” says Dr TK Harindranath, national president, Indian Homoeopathic Association (IHMA) that provides continued education programme to young homoeopaths and keeps them updated with the latest practices.
The proposed legislations, says Dr Harindranath will attract students only if they find it profitable to study homoeopathy or the Indian System of Medicine as a career. This will depend on how the NCH implements its policies to improve the standards of education to make the systems more productive.
When do students opt for the field
While a few students choose homoeopathy after being denied MBBS seat due to low ranking in NEET, but for some it is the first choice owing to first-hand experience of its benefits. The challenges begin once they become practitioners, since it is tough for a homeopathy doctor to start and maintain successful clinical practice. “There are fewer public sector jobs for homoeopaths and many junior doctors across the country are forced to pursue take up other careers after making several unsuccessful attempts ,” Dr Harindranath affirms.
Homoeopathy versus allopathy
Discrimination between homoeopathy and allopathy is widespread, so it the remuneration offered. “There are limited infrastructure facilities and dignity for medical professionals in homoeopathy,” he adds.
He highlights the need for more government hospitals and primary health care centres to promote the real worthiness of these systems among the public. As of now, only a few states such as Kerala, Bengal, Delhi have full-fledged systems in homoeopathy, though ISM is a little more developed in this area. “The need for government-initiated research facilities and encouraging more PhD work to improve the quality of healthcare in the field is a must. The PhD course is naturally attached with research and it will give those who pursue it a sustainable income as well as some recognition for their work,” Dr Oomen affirms.
In the light of the pandemic, the Ayush systems in general and homoeopathy in particular are in a dilemma. “Despite effective treatment strategy and ways for prevention, in most parts of the country, homoeopathy is left out of patient care. But with about 2,50,000 registered homoeopathic doctors in India, we can take care of a minimum of one crore patients, and help save the country both money and manpower,” Dr Harindranath adds.