Several landmark Bills in the healthcare sector were cleared by the Parliament during the session, all of them related to alternative medicine.
Health Bills 2020: Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Parliament not only held its Monsoon Session this year, but also passed several landmark Bills. In light of the pandemic, it was ensured that safety precautions for the pandemic were observed when the Parliament was in session, so that the coronavirus does not curtail any further the functioning of the legislative. Amid this, several landmark Bills in the healthcare sector were cleared by the Parliament, all of them related to alternative medicine. Here’s a look at the three Bills that were cleared.
Monsoon Session 2020: Healthcare Bills passed
The Parliament has passed three Bills related to alternative medicine during the ongoing Monsoon Session. While The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill (NCISM), 2020 was passed by the Rajya Sabha back in March, the Lok Sabha cleared the Bill on September 14. The National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2020 was also cleared by the Upper House in March, and by the Lower House on September 14. The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) Bill, 2020 was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March, and by the Rajya Sabha on September 16.
The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) Bill, 2020
The Bill sought the merger of three Ayurveda institutes at Jamnagar into one. The Institute of Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jamnagar and Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Jamnagar, would be merged and a single institute, called Institute of Training and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), would be established in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The proposed institute would be set up in Gujarat Ayurved University’s campus.
The Bill further declared this proposed institute to be an Institution of National Importance.
The Institute would aim to develop teaching patterns in medical education in Ayurveda as well as pharmacy. This education would be undertaken at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and it would set standards for all other Ayurvedic medical colleges in India. It would also aim to bring to one place top-notch educational facilities to train personnel in all branches of Ayurveda, including pharmacy. The institute would also attain self-sufficiency in postgraduate education so as to produce specialists and medical teachers in Ayurveda, as per the requirement of the country, and it would also conduct in-depth study and research in the field of Ayurveda. The institute would have 15 members, including Union Minister of AYUSH, Secretary and technical head of Ayurveda in the Union Ministry of AYUSH, as well as the Secretary of Gujarat department of health.
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) Bill, 2020
The Bill sought to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. It also stated that a National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), which would consist of 29 members appointed by the Centre, would be constituted. Moreover, the Bill also required state governments to set up State Medical Councils for Indian System of Medicine within three years of the passing of the Bill, ie, by September 2023. Apart from this, the Bill aimed to establish a system of medical education, which would ensure the following:
- That there were adequate and highly qualified medical professional available in the Indian System of Medicine
- That the medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine adopted latest medical research
- That the medical institutions underwent periodic assessment,
- That an effective mechanism was in place for redressal of grievances.
As per the Bill, the NCISM would have the following responsibilities:
- To frame policies for the regulation of medical professionals and institutions for Indian System of Medicine
- To assess the human resources and infrastructure required in relation to healthcare
- To ensure that the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine adhered to the regulations laid down by the Bill
- To ensure that the autonomous boards set up under the Bill worked in coordination with each other.
The National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2020
On the lines of the The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020, this Bill sought to repeal the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973, and establish a quality education system for homoeopathy medicine. The Bill has the same objectives as that of the Indian System of Medicine Bill, only with a narrow focus on the branch of Homoeopathy.
Moreover, instead of NCIMS, this Bill seeks to establish a National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH), which, again, has the same functions as the NCIMS, modified to only be applied to Homoeopathy. Moreover, within three years of the passage of this Bill as well, the state governments would be required to set up State Medical Councils for Homoeopathy.