The God of health Dhanvantari is none other than Lord Vishnu the Supreme God. This is the importance given to health - both in physical and spiritual points of view by India. The very concept of health invokes Bhakti, Shradda and Sdhyayana.
Do we see these qualities in the way the medical education is being imparted and medical services are being rendered in this country? Why there is a disconnect between what our ancient system says and what we see in practice? Why India is not able to leverage its huge knowledge hidden in the texts of Ayurveda? What is ailing us - we as people, our Govt at the Centre and states - to understand the natural significance of Ayurveda? When my daughter expressed her wish to become an Ayurvedic Vaida, these are some of the questions that compelled me to write this article. Does the rank decide the qualification for becoming a Vaidya - of any school of medicine?
First let us allow the numbers to speak about the significance given to Ayurvedic Medical Science by our very Telugu States so far and even now there is no plan, or even a statement about it.
Can we say that the India's health is under the English Medical Coterie?
The number of private Ayurvedic Medical Colleges is abysmal for the reasons best known to all. As a custodian of the public health, the Govt of India under the Congress led UPA rule paid lip-service and successfully converted the Ayurveda as an alternate medicine!! Alas! The mother of medical sciences is relegated to the status of alternate medicine. Thanks to the Nehruvian philosophy of public health and the strategy to promote English Medicine.
The 5 year rule of BJP under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not do any thing at all for giving the due status to this most natural medical science. Today under the AYUSH scheme only the traditional medical sciences that originated from the mother of all medical sciences (Ayurveda) are being given recognition.
The state of the govt owned Ayurvedic Medical Sciences is in deplorable condition. The case of Dr. BRKR Govt. Ayurvedic College is a classic one:
Established in the year 1984, and being one of the 3 Government Ayurved Colleges of the Telangana state. The College is over 25 years old, and as you would expect a government college to be, it’s not maintained and renovated as per the modern standards. The students are not really satisfied with the state of the buildings and other infrastructure, as it affects learning. It all needs maintenance, as soon as possible. The equipments and the apparatuses work, but are again a testimony to the age of the institution.
The Library is surprisingly very well furnished, and contains a huge collection of books on Ayurvedic Medicine. Hostels facilities are provided for both girls and boys at the campus itself, for those who come from beyond the city and their maintenance too is akin to that of the main buildings.
The Faculty is a very positive thing about the college and is fast approaching retirement. is the faculty’s experience in their own practice and experience as teachers. All the members are senior professors, but most of the times student find the lectures boring.
RSBK (Pharmaceutics) Department and Dravyaguna(Pharmacology) departments are the better departments at the college. Practical sessions are also lively and interactive. But there have been times when faculties were not available for certain subjects, like Sanskrit in the first year. This is important because Sanskrit forms the base of a lot of academic nomenclature in the entire course.
Strangely we find a very good number of Ayurvedic Colleges in India. The number is: 301 and you can find the details in this link:
When it comes to Research and Development in Ayurvedic Medical Sciences, the GoI and the State Governments do not pay as much attention and do not allocate any fund for this specifically. This is the basic reason for the dismal performance of Ayurvedic Medical Colleges and their products in the country.
Interestingly the entire world is looking at Ayurveda as the most natural medical science coupled with Yoga and India being the birth place of this great science is lagging behind in this regard. IF any one searches net we can find many websites on Ayurveda maintained by other countries. It pains me to share here that our oldest Ayurvedic College in Hyderabad Dr. B.R.K.R. AMC is not having a functional website of its own. This is the plight of Ayurveda in India.
India could have attracted many foreign students to enroll for B.A.M.S. and M.D. courses. Since we did not pay any attention to this great science and conducted further research and evolve it by using the modern tools and techniques, we missed this greatest opportunity to spread this healthy science and its practices, procedures and systems in the world. It is time now to act or get cursed by the future generations.
Demand and supply are the principles that rule the Medical education in India sadly like any other commercial activity. Medical Education needs a different and most natural orientation towards humanity that it serves. Our failure to achieve a healthy ratio of Doctor : Patients is our inefficiency that we see in all walks of life. The root cause is the way we elect our representatives and assign them the accountability. Be it as it may, what surprises many is the apathy of the governments, term after term. Hope to see a sea change in this area and wish India become the Global Guru of Medical Education.