MMM: Is there are need to integrate Ayurveda and allopathy?
Shripad Naik: Our focus is on the patient, may it be any medicine. We will give a medicine which is good for the patient to help him recover. Owing to which, the integration of these two branches is important. AYUSH ministry is prepared for it. Everyone should come together and work for the patients.
MMM: According to you, modern medicine should be taught to an ayurvedic doctor. What is your take on that?
Shripad Naik: Yes, there is a need to do this. Today, Traditional medicines are required. Many concept’s and practises in ayurvda are unique. What we are looking at is multi-model combined treatment. For that, elements of modern medicines should be taught to Ayurveda doctors. For this, a crash course or part of ayurveda should be there in allopathy. And part of allopathy should be there in Ayurveda curriculum. We are discussing this at the ministry level.
MMM: Ayurvedic doctors are demanding to start allopathy. What would you like to say about that?
Shripad Naik: You are allowed to give patients what you learned. How will you give what you haven’t learnt? Integration is the only solution to this. Patients will benefit if both of them work together.
Shripad Naik: We have started an integrative project to prevent non-communicable diseases. Ten districts have been selected from every state. In this, health and Ayush ministry will work together. Allopathy will remain intact. In some districts, allopathy-yoga and Ayurveda will be taken up, while, in some districts, allopathy-yoga-unani will be integrated. The screening of the whole district will be done. People will be guided to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This will provide us information about the disease. In the next phase, these projects will be started in 100 districts of the country. Research is going on dengue and we have started giving medicines.
MMM: The government reduced GST on non-branded ayurvedic medicines, but did not reduce on branded ayurvedic medicines?
Shripad Naik: Discussion is going on with finance ministry about this. We are trying to give ayurvedic medicine at an affordable price. We have given a proposal for this. We demand that the GST should come down to 5 per cent. And it is being discussed continuously at the government level.
MMM: This year we celebrated ‘International Yoga Day’. What efforts are being made so that yoga reaches to school kids?
Shripad Naik: We have requested the Ministry of Human Resource Development to include yoga lessons, from the fifth standard in the school along with Ayurveda. So that children will be introduced to yoga and ayurveda at an early age. And will benefit from it. These topics are related to health.
MMM: What are the efforts taken by the ministry to raise awareness about Ayush?
Shripad Naik: Since the last two years, we have generated a lot of public awareness on ayurveda-yoga. Contracts are signed with us from country as well as abroad. Our teachers go to the other countries and give lectures.