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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Include Ayurveda plea seeks Antony intervention

The Ayurvedic sector and doctors fraternity have launched a mass online campaign to petition Defence Minister AK Antony to protest the decision of the armed  forces against reimbursing  treatment cost incurred by  jawans under Ayurvedic and other systems of medicines.The Ayurvedic sector took the unprecedented decision after the Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DG-AFMS) told the Delhi High Court recently that, except allopathic system, other systems of medicine could not be recognised for reimbursement.The DGAFMS, representing all the three forces — Army, Navy and Air Force — was responding to a directive of the Delhi HC to “positively” consider re-imbursement of Ayurvedic treatment expenses of PV Manesh, the NSG Commando who was wounded in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.Manesh, who suffered right side-paralysis after discharge from different Army hospitals, is now recovering and has started walking, thanks to 15-month-long Ayurvedic treatment, which costs him `4,000 per month.“The ‘Include Ayurveda’ petition demands the intervention of the Defence Minister  and the chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to constitute a special committee/ task-force made up of relevant stakeholders from within the armed forces as well as from the Ayurveda medical services sector to formulate clear guidelines by December 31, 2012 for inclusion of Ayurveda under authorised medical reimbursement for (serving and retired) members of the Indian armed forces and implement the same by March 31, 2013,” said the online petition launched by Ayurvedic fraternity.The Pioneer in its July 20, 2011 edition first reported the plight of the NSG commando Manesh, who was in comma for six months, after three shrapnel from the grenade thrown by terrorists pierced his head.Manesh, who got Shaurya Chakra for his courageous role in rescuing 40 inmates from   Hotel Oberoi on the late night of November 27, 2008, was wheelchair-bound when he was discharged after allopathic treatments at Delhi and Mumbai army hospitals.For the past two years, he underwent Ayurveda treatment, which has brought him back on his legs and he could now walk slowly. Every month twice he had to travel 300 kilometres to a well-known private Ayruveda Hospital in Palakad district. His monthly Ayurvedic medicine expenses come about `4,000. But the ‘blind’ laws of the Army came in the way of re-imbursement of treatment, which he needed for life.After The Pioneer report, a public interest litigation was filed by Advocate Arjun Harkauli at Delhi High Court. Hearing the fate of the brave commando, last year in August  then Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna directed the Health Ministry, Defence Ministry, Army, Navy and Air Force to take “positive”  approach in the matter .The Bench also reminded the Government and forces about the Central Government’s National Policy on Indian System of Medicines and Homoeopathy-2002 and observed that all Central Government employees are eligible for re-imbursement under other systems of medicines.Ignoring the court’s three months time limit, DG-AFMS replied to the court after eight months that except allopathic system, no other medical stream is agreeable to them.“The issue of introduction of Indian systems of medicine in the Armed Forces has repeatedly been considered and not agreed to due to valid scientific reasons. …The process in the AFMS is monitored very closely by allopathic qualified doctors, which form the hierarchy. The Indian systems of medicine are completely different and the monitoring progress of patients is outside the purview of allopathic system. Any deficiency or resultant complications would lead to legal problems,” said Lt Gen Mandeep Singh, DG-AFMS.Countering the “negative stand” of the three forces, the online petition launched by Ayurvedic fraternity said:  “Rather than consider the Delhi High Court’s directive as a welcome opportunity to seriously consider how Ayurveda can be co-opted in the overall scheme of medical care provision for the armed forces of India, the DG-AFMS has blatantly ignored Ayurveda medical science and its time tested therapeutic capabilities as well as potential health benefits to the primary stakeholder — the Indian armed forces personnel and their families.”
Source:the pioneer 

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