The minister said in a written reply today to a question in Lok Sabha that under National Health Mission (NHM), a Bridge Programme in Community Health for Nurses was designed and developed with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
"Subsequently, a common Bridge Programme for Nurses and Ayurveda practitioners was approved by IGNOU. The Bridge Course has already been rolled out in States as per proposal received from States," the minister said.
"AYUSH and modern systems of medicine have distinct approaches and methods of practice. However, there are areas in public health where these systems of medicine can function in mutual co-existence in an integrated manner," said Mr. Naik.
He also told the lower house that the National Policy on Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy - 2002, envisages integration of AYUSH with the Healthcare Delivery System including Ayurveda.
"Mainstreaming of AYUSH is one of the strategies in National Health Mission (NHM) as well which seeks to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care in order to improve the existing health care delivery system," he said.
He said the Central Government adopted a strategy of co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs), thus enabling choice to the patients for different systems of medicines under single window.
According to the minister, the engagement of AYUSH Doctors/paramedics and their training are supported by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, while the support for AYUSH infrastructure, equipment/furniture and medicines are provided by Ministry of AYUSH under shared responsibilities.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary panel has said yesterday the 'bridge course', proposed in the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, to allow practitioners of alternative medicines such as homoeopathy and ayurveda to practice allopathy, should not be made a mandatory provision.
The committee also recommended penal provisions for those practicing medicine without requisite qualification.
Noting that every state has its own specific healthcare challenges, the panel recommended that the state governments may implement measures to enhance the capacity of existing healthcare professionals, including AYUSH practitioners, B.Sc (Nursing), BDS, B.Pharma and others to address their specific primary healthcare issues in rural areas.
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