Homeopathy in Public Health in India
26 June 2018
05 September 2018
08 February 2019 (eFirst)
Background Based on a pluralistic approach to health care, India offers a range of medical treatment modalities to its population. In that context, the government of India aims at providing its people with wider access to homeopathy. This article provides insight into the infrastructural support put in place by the government to meet that aim.
Data and Methods A literature review was carried out of recent surveys and articles to assess the morbidity trends in India and the treatment modalities being sought by patients. Extensive attempts were made to identify and access all data sources that could contribute to understanding the situation of homeopathy in public health in India. These efforts included analysis of secondary data about government wellness centres, as also a case study of one such centre.
Results In India, homeopathy is well represented in public health, being a close second among the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) services. Homeopathy wellness centres comprise 31% of the total for AYUSH. Seven out of 10 diseases recognised as a national health burden are in the category of most commonly reported diseases at the homeopathy wellness centres. Academic homeopathy institutes comprise 35.8% of AYUSH colleges, the total student intakes of which are 13,658 and 32,256 respectively. Homeopathy practitioners are 37% of the AYUSH total. Homeopathy units comprise 1/19th of the number of allopathy units, yet the annual patient footfall in the former is 1/5th of the latter.
Conclusion Homeopathy services, wherever available, are being used fully and thus sharing the patient load in the government-run wellness centres. There is the potential for more homeopathic practitioners to contribute importantly to health care delivery in India.
Keywordspublic health - homeopathy - Government of India - homeopathy wellness centres - Central Government Health Scheme - morbidity - education - costs
• Homeopathy is well accepted and popular in India.
• The government of India promotes its usage through co-location of homeopathy facilities in its wellness centres.
• Homeopathy is contributing substantially to Indian health care delivery.
• In one centre, the functioning cost of a homeopathy unit was one-eightieth that of an allopathy unit.
• Homeopathic practitioners are an important resource in sustaining community health development in India.
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