A Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Health and Family praised the progress made by the Department of AYUSH in the last sixteen years.
The meeting which was chaired by Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad noted that the Department of AYUSH has been making significant strides in providing an enabling environment to develop these systems with its infrastructure of national institutes, research councils, pharmacopoeial laboratories, the Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited and also the National Medicinal Plants Board.
Azad highlighted the successful strategy of mainstreaming of AYUSH systems under the National Rural Health Mission. He also elaborated on the efforts made by the department towards ensuring quality control of drugs.
Azad, however pointed out the acute shortage of doctors in rural areas and sought the views of members in mitigating the situation by utilizing the AYUSH doctors to fill the felt need at grass root levels.
Secretary, Department of AYUSH, Anil Kumar, drew the attention of members to the new initiatives taken in the Eleventh Plan, particularly the scheme on acquisition cataloguing, digitization and publication of text book and manuscripts; projects on local health tradition; scheme on AYUSH clusters and public health initiatives.
Committee members shared the concern of the department over some key issues like low capacity reflected in vacancies; pending utilisation certificates from states; weak drug enforcement machinery; collaborative research and building quality - drugs, therapies, hospitals, laboratories, teaching colleges.
They requested Azad to ensure employment and utilization of trained manpower and suggested that AYUSH services should be more visible at the grass root level so that benefits of progress made by the department reach the people.