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AMMOI urges health ministry to bring national ban on practice of fake, unqualified healers

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In a memorandum to the Union health ministry, the Ayurvedic Medicine Manufacturers Organisation of India (AMMOI) has urged the government to take immediate steps to ban the practice of fake and unqualified traditional healers in the country, through amendment of existing act and rules if necessary.  
The secretary of AMMOI, Dr D Ramanathan handed over the memorandum to the union minister of state for health, S Gandhiselvan during his visit to Kerala recently.

The organisation was forced to bring the issue to the notice of the minister as the Kerala government, prior to the assembly election, gave exemption to the traditional healers of northern Kerala from acquiring qualification and registration as per  some provisions of Travancore-Cochin Medical Council Act. The decision of the government was later stayed by the Kerala High Court.

Dr Ramanathan said there should be a policy decision by the Central government after amending relevant acts pertaining to  the practice by doctors of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy systems. He said that the regulations of Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) strictly prevent the practising of unqualified doctors and fake healers. But some state governments are still issuing orders allowing fake traditional healers to practise and Kerala case is the best example of such unwise action. The CCIM and other ayurvedic doctors associations in Kerala have challenged the decision of the government in the court.

AMMOI also demanded implementation and spread of Ayurveda and other Indian Systems of Medicine in the north-eastern parts of the country where everyone is following the modern system. It is necessary to constitute a committee consisting eminent personalities from the ISM sector to prepare a detailed scheme to introduce Ayurveda system in those states and it should be included in the curriculum of schools and colleges there for the 12th five year plan. AMMOI suggested that the members of the committee should be from CCRA, CCRUM, CCRS, ICMR, CCIM and ayurvedic industry.

The ayurvedic manufacturers’ appeals to the ministry included a request for a new scheme for the cultivation of medicinal plants. Because of deforestation and population growth, ayurvedic manufacturing industry is facing shortage of raw materials. The organization has also invited the minister’s attention to the European Union’s ban on Indian system of medicinal products following detection of heavy metal substance in some products.

He further sought the help of the health ministry to remove the barriers in introducing the health insurance scheme for Ayurveda treatment. Likewise the health ministry should find out a solution for withdrawing the central excise duty imposed on classical medicines by the finance ministry. Even though the financial department took some steps in favour of the ayurvedic industry’s demands, it is still pending, says the memorandum.

The Union minister was also requested to intervene in the matter of salary discrimination adopted by the Kerala government. “India’s national policy is to give equal status to all system of medicines. But in Kerala this is not so and  the treatment  of Ayurveda is looked down.  In spite of repeated letters and directions from central government, there is no change in the state policy. The best example is the differences in the pay scale of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy doctors”, said Dr Ramanathan, a CCIM executive committee member.

The memorandum also demands for additional financial aid for the upcoming Kerala Ayurvedic Cluster to be inaugurated in Thrissur for its development and setting up of research units. AMMOI  requested the minister to nominate Dr ET Neelakanta Mooss of Ashtavaidya families  as  member to the National Medicinal Plant Board.


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DR SREEKUMAR P S May 7, 2011 1:13 PM
Very good. It shuld be a continuous process to eradicate it.
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