INTEGRATION OF AYURVEDA WITH BIOMEDICINE: A RESPONSE IDENTIFICATION CROSS SECTIONAL SURVEY
Sulochana Bhat, Saketh Ram Thrigulla*, N Srikanth, M.M. Padhi, Kartar Singh DhimanABSTRACT
Background: There is re-emergence of the integrative approach to facilitate affordable, safe and equitable health to all. Due to the active initiatives taken up by the Government of India and other stake holders the reach of Ayurveda has expanded along with wide spread consumer acceptance. The efforts to co-locate Ayurveda centers along with bio-medical facilities across India through programs like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM are limited to the extent of only physical proximity between biomedicine and Ayurveda and far away from the possibility of functional integration granulated to the level of clinical service delivery together.
Objective: To document the perceptions of biomedical practitioners about Ayurveda and possible integration with the biomedicine.
Methods: Survey through self administered questionnaire carried out at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi involving 300 doctors from various biomedical medical specialties. Out of them, 98 doctors did not respond where as 202 responses were received in the stipulated format, which were analyzed, and interpreted based on standard statistical methods.
Results: From the analysis of 202 responses, it is evident that all the respondents were aware of basic principles and strengths of Ayurveda. They also opined that, integration is useful to strengthen the overall health care delivery in India. Further, they expressed that the communication barrier between practitioners of Ayurveda and Biomedicine, meagre research work with respect to safety and efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines and therapies, inadequate policy initiatives are the important obstacles in realizing functional integration between Ayurveda and Biomedicine.
Conclusion: The survey reported good level of awareness of biomedical practitioners and their supportive attitude about the integration. Need for upgrading the skills of Ayurveda practitioners, safety and efficacy of the medicines, interdisciplinary research, information sharing and coordination between practitioners of Ayurveda and Biomedicine are identified as essential elements for successful integration.
Dr. Saketh Ram Thrigulla, Research Officer (Ayu.), Ministry of AYUSH, Ayush Bhawan, GPO Complex, INA Market, New Delhi-100023, India.