The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre's stand on the adoption of an Indian holistic integrated approach in the area of medical education and practice instead of the colonial segregated way of having different streams of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Homeopathy etc.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla asked the central government to examine the prayers made in this regard by petitioner and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in his Public Interest Litigation and file its response within eight weeks.

Observing that the issue raised by the petitioner was a policy issue, the court said it would ask the government to treat the plea as a representation. The petitioner told the court the issue was not that of policy but the Constitution of India.

The petitioner has claimed in the petition that the adoption of a holistic approach in the medical field, which would be a combination of modern and traditional medicine at the level of education, training, practice, and policies and regulations, would secure the right to health guaranteed under Articles 21, 39(e), 41, 43, 47, 48(a), 51A of the Constitution and improve the country's doctor to population ratio as well as the healthcare sector.

"..we have an alternative force of medical professionals who have always been neglected by the Government and are capable of providing a supporting hand to uplift our health care status. There are 7.88 lakh Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathy (AUH) doctors. Assuming 80% availability, it is estimated that 6.30 lakh AUH doctors may be available for service and considered together with allopathic doctors, it gives a doctor population ratio of around 1:1000", the petition states.

The petitioner states that an integrated health system is present in several countries including China, Japan, Korea, and Germany, and claimed that coordination of all medical systems would benefit the patients.

It is stated in the petition that modern medicine practitioners have remained confined to their niche which has restricted their practice and cannot benefit the diseased individuals by using other therapeutic regimens.

The petitioner has further emphasised the negative impact of the expanded pharmaceutical industry and said that so-called revolutionary medical innovations have in long-run proven to be dangerous causing severe and long-term side effects but that the Centre is not introducing a Holistic Integrated Healthcare System.

"An Integrated Health System is the only solution to achieve sustainable health goal of India. Commonly preferred allopathic medicine is chiefly comprised of approximately 40% plant-derived components (USDA Forest Service 2021). If allopathic medicine is originally made of constituents of AYUSH then why not, we can accept them directly as part of our regular medicinal support system", says the petition.

The matter would be heard next on September 8.

Click here to read/download the Petition

With PTI inputs