September 30, 2023

Special Ayush Visa to boost Medical Tourism

In order to promote medical tourism in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs is in the process of establishing modalities for launching a special Ayush Visa category.

As part of a major initiative to provide foreign nationals with access to Ayush therapy, the Prime Minister announced the plans to launch the special visa in April 2022 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, at the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit 2022.

The procedure for the Ayush visa was taken up by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs following the announcement – The Union minister of Ayush answered a question in Parliament.

However, the minister said that no information is being compiled by the Ministry of Home Affairs with regard to the data of foreign nationals who visited India for treatment and training in the field of Ayush. After introduction of Ayush Visa, the data of foreign nationals who visited India for treatment and training in the said field may be compiled.

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Govt to promote AYUSH through health tourism

Heal in India is an Initiative of the Government to promote the Medical Tourism in the country. Under this initiative,Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and  Ministry of Ayush has been working with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC)for developing a ‘One Step’ Heal in India portal for Promotion of Medical Value Travel.

Ministry of Ayush signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Ministry of Tourism to work together for the promotion of Medical Value Travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.

Ministry of Ayush developed a Central Sector Scheme namely Champion Service Sector Scheme for Medical Value Travel Under this scheme, financial assistance in the form of Interest Subsidy is provided to private investors for the establishment of Super Specialty Hospitals/ Day Care Centres of the systems recognized under The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) Act, 2020 or The National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH) Act, 2020 in FY 2021-22.

Couples of Chintan Shivir were organized by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare to promote Heal in India and Heal by India. Ministry of Ayush has also participated in these Chintan Shivir. Certain action points were identified in this shivir to promote traditional medicine through Tourism in India.

A Round Table and Plenary Session on Heal in India- Medical Value Travel were also organized during Global Ayush Investment and Innovation summit at Gandhinagar, Gujrat to promote India as No. 1 destination for Medical Value Travel.

List of National Institutes under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH having attached hospitals in Homoeopathy

  • North Eastern Institute on Ayurveda & Homoeopathy, Meghalaya
  • National Institute of Homoeopathy, West Bengal

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Ayush declines by 2%; Homoeopathy sees an increase

The total number of registered practitioners in Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy and Sowa Rigpa (Ayush) systems of medicine has seen a decline of two per cent in five years from 7,73,668 doctors in the year 2017, to 7,55,780 doctors in 2021, according to the Union Ministry of Ayush.

The decline is mainly due to the number of practitioners in the Ayurveda system, even though it still contributes to over 50 per cent of the total number of doctors in the Ayush segment. The number of registered Ayurveda doctors has seen a 11.4 per cent decline from 4,28,884 in 2017 to 3,79,945 in the year 2021.

Registered practitioners in Unani has seen a growth from 49,566 to 50,011, Homoeopathy from 2,84,471 to 3,12,580, Siddha from 8,505 to 9,033, and Naturopathy from 2,242 to 4,158, during the same period. Sowa-Rigpa, which was recognised by the Government of India in the year 2010, reported to have 47 practitioners in the year 2020 and it has grown to 53 in 2021.

The number of institutional qualified (IQ) doctors in the Ayush system, on the other hand, has reported a growth of 14.2 per cent in five years from 2007 to 2021, even as the number of Non-Institutional Qualified (NIQ) practitioners witnessed a decline. The number of NIQ practitioners has decreased around 45 per cent, from 2,15,778 to 1,18,419 during the period.

As on January 1, 2021, there are 7,55,780 registered Ayush doctors/practitioners (including 1,18,419 NIQ) in India. Out of the total number of registered Ayush practitioners, 3,79,945 (50.3%) belong to Ayurveda, while 3,12,580 (41.4%) and 50,011 (6.6%) belong to Homoeopathy & Unani Systems respectively. Only 9,033 (1.2%), 4,158 (0.6%) and 53(0.01%) doctors/practitioners belong to Siddha, Naturopathy and Sowa-Rigpa Systems respectively, said the Ayush in India 2021 report released by the Ministry of Ayush, recently.

“The number of registered Ayush doctors has shown an overall increasing trend from 1980 to 2021. An average annual growth rate of 1.7% was realised in registered Ayush practitioners during this period in 2021,” said the Ministry. “An increase of 43,600 Institutionally Qualified Ayush Practitioners/Doctors has been observed in 2021 as compared to 2020,” it added.

Significant variation in the availability of Ayush doctors per one crore population has been observed since 1980. On an aggregate, Ayush doctors serving per one crore population have varied from 5,582 to 5,555 during the period 1980-2021 with a highest 6,774 in 2000 and lowest at 4,851 in 2019.

As on January 1, 2021, about 5,555 Ayush doctors per one crore population are available in India. Maharashtra and Kerala are the only states where more than 10,000 Ayush doctors (13,478 and 12,813 respectively) are serving per one crore population in 2021. States having 5,000 to 10,000 Ayush doctors serving per one crore population are Himachal Pradesh (9,767), Goa (9,447), Madhya Pradesh (8,331), Gujarat (8011), Karnataka (7,447), Telangana (6,043), Bihar (5,962), Punjab (5,302) and West Bengal (5,115).

The highest percentage of registration of Ayush doctors/practitioners has been reported in the State of Maharashtra (22.2%) followed by Uttar Pradesh (12.5%) and Bihar (9.7%), in the beginning of 2021. About more than 50% of registration of total Ayush doctors/practitioners has been reported in the four major states Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Registration of practitioners under Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy, who possess recognised medical qualifications as per Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 is being done by State Boards/ Councils. These State Boards/Councils constituted by the State Governments are maintaining the State Register of Ayush registered practitioners. Central Register of Ayush practitioners are also being prepared by the commissions, National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) (erstwhile Central Council of Indian Medicine) and National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) (erstwhile Central Council of Homoeopathy). Central Registers are being updated from time to time from State Registers.(source)