Integration of Homeopathy in Indian Healthcare
05 February 2020 (online)
Background (Why to Integrate): WHO endorses health service delivery to become more integrated and people-centric by re-orienting the model of care and coordinating services within and across sectors. It is thus essential to integrate homeopathy in national health programs of countries that can aid in reducing healthcare burden and diminish costs. India’s current healthcare system is not sustainable for its population. With rapid health transition, India is facing a ‘triple burden of disease’ in the form of unfinished cases of communicable diseases, rising non-communicable diseases that are related to lifestyle, and the emerging threat of infectious diseases. On other hand, there is lack of sufficiently trained healthcare manpower.
Method (How to Integrate): Homeopathy is playing a considerable role in meeting the health care needs of the population in India by its integration at appropriate levels, within specified areas of responsibility and functioning, in the overall healthcare delivery system, especially with regard to the preventive, promotive and public health objectives. The Government of India has launched several schemes and national programs wherein homeopathy is being utilized for its inherent advantages of its patient-centric approach, cost-effectiveness, ease of administration and gentle action.
Result and Discussion (Current Integrated Scenario in India): The results of a nationally representative health survey, 2014, reveals that homeopathy has significant presence in India, with popularity more among children (<5 years), particularly in urban areas. Homeopathy is widely practiced in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat and the north-eastern states of India. India has a very conducive infrastructure, with 284,471 homeopathy doctors, 201 under-graduate and 50 post-graduation colleges, 7,544 government-run clinics and 164 hospitals pertaining to homeopathy that are run by state governments and municipal bodies – all of which exists as a sustainable support to public health. The growth rate of homeopathy has increased from 1,935 doctors per 10 million population in 2007 to 2,136 doctors per 10 million population in the year 2017.
Through the Indian model of meaningful integration of homeopathy in healthcare, we are focusing on providing education through the university system, adequate drug control measures, high quality research and participating in public health initiatives. The resulting improvement in health outcomes of the country thereby contributes towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
Keywords: Homeopathy, integrated health service, national health profile, universal health coverage