Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, USA (AHP, USA) would be working to identify various challenges faced by the Ayurveda products/drugs in the US. Moreover, it will also develop the confidence of the global community about the safety of Ayush drugs. This will also lead to adoption of Ayurveda standards by the manufacturers of herbal drugs and will eventually foster the adoption of Ayurveda standards for the market authorization of Ayush products/drugs in the US. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online, the newly-appointed President of industry chamber PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) Pradeep Multani, who is also the Chairman of Multani Pharmaceuticals, shares insight on what would be the growth drivers in the field of Ayurveda and other Indian traditional systems of medicine. Excerpts:
The Union Ministry of AYUSH has recently paved the way for strengthening the quality of Ayurvedic and other Indian traditional medicine products globally and also enhancing export potential, especially to the US market. What would be the significance of this move in the long run?
This will definitely help in strengthening, promoting and developing standards in the field of Ayurveda and other Indian traditional systems of medicine. In the long run, it will directly help in enhancing the export potential of the ASU&H (Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy) drugs.
The Centre has hiked financial support to open Ayush colleges nationwide. How will this help in catering to the healthcare needs of the people?
The Centre’s initiative to raise funds from Rs 9 crore to Rs 70 crore to establish AYUSH colleges will create more career opportunities.
Introducing an Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) module in the current MBBS curriculum would be a concrete step that would help in building an atmosphere of mutual trust among the healthcare professionals. Encouraging AYUSH institutions to hire biomedicine experts to give instructions in the areas of their expertise is another such suggestion.
AYUSH can play an important role in realizing the dream of a ‘New India’ by providing quality healthcare and medical care.
How can technology be harnessed to revolutionise healthcare delivery, especially in the case of the last mile?
Digital health technology is a pivotal pillar in delivering value-based care across the healthcare continuum in India. Tools including telehealth and adaptive intelligence solutions can help lower the barriers between hospitals and patients, thereby improving access to care, particularly in tier-II and III cities.
About 76% of healthcare professionals are already using digital health records (DHRs) in their practice. India meets the 15-country average when it comes to the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) within healthcare at 46%. As per a survey report, about 67% of Indians feel comfortable or neutral about seeking medical advice from their doctor through a health application on their phone, suggesting a high willingness and openness to further adopt telehealth.
Telemedicine reaching out to the rural areas and launch of Health ID will play a pivotal role in last mile healthcare delivery with the availability of digital health records and tele-consultation services.
How has the pandemic made people realise the true potential of Ayurveda?
The pandemic has turned the world’s attention to the immune system. The pandemic has also led to high levels of psychological distress and significant impact on mental health. Such distress is accompanied with alterations in immune function, including an increased risk of viral respiratory tract infections.
Ayurveda pays larger emphasis on building immunity and strength of mind and body to cope with various stressors, including infection, among others.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned using Ayurveda medicines for improving immunity against Covid-19. The Ministry of AYUSH has released a set of guidelines for boosting immunity and measures for self-care by using Ayurvedic principles and methods.
How can research and innovation be promoted in universities to build a robust healthcare system?
A quantum jump in funds provided to the universities together with good governance and autonomy are essential for attracting good faculty and interested students to provide a vibrant academic ambience.
This would also provide the appropriate platform for seeking innovative industrial applications and solutions for national issues. Providing quality education and promoting innovative basic research at the institutions of higher learning has to be a national priority.
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