The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the Medicine is a noble profession. He was addressing the 1st Convocation of Homeopathy University, in Jaipur, Rajasthan on Wednesday. The Minister for Health, Rajasthan, Kali Charan Saraf, the Member of Parliament from Rajasthan and President of Sponsoring Society of Homeopathy University, Dr. Manoj Rajoria and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon for the poor and needy sections of the society. Saying that Homeopathy fits the bill as an alternative system of medicine, he said that there is immense scope for preventive and curative Homoeopathy treatment in interior remote locations where no modern, diagnostic medical facilities are available.
The Vice President said that the need of the hour is to put in place standardized practices and processes for all systems of medicine and stressed the need to standardize and maintain the quality of homoeopathy education and research in the country. It should be our collective obligation to not let this humanitarian discipline to be besmirched by the unethical lust for profit, he added.
The Vice President said that it is therefore essential that homoeopathy institutions and research councils take initiatives and create a critical mass of skilled manpower to take up such assignments. There is a need to strengthen quality control the drug manufacturers should be made to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices, he added.
The Vice President said that the safety assessment is of paramount importance to remove any impurities of source material or contamination. All public leaders should involve themselves in some service and School, College and University Education should be in mother tongue, he added.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“I am pleased to be among the bright students of this prestigious institution, the Jaipur Homeopathy University, to share their joy and hope, at this crucial juncture of their professional career.
Friends, it has been my endeavor to reach out to the makers of the destiny of new India, our students. You will fashion destiny of new India. You represent the idealism, hope and aspirations of the country. This is the age of information explosion and you are aware of global trends in healthcare and medicine. You know the challenges and opportunities the new professional life will offer. I would like you to make the right choices in accordance with the professional knowledge you had gained and the values taught by your family and teachers.
Today is a special occasion. As you step out of the portals of this university, remember that you a have special responsibility towards the society as members of a noble profession. I expect you to uphold the highest ethical and moral values and bring glory to this prestigious institution.
I am happy to note that the University established in 2009-10, has emerged as center of excellence in Homoeopathy education and research. Apart from Bachelor’s degree in Homoeopathy, you have MD and Ph.D programmes in Homoeopathy, MSc Biotechnology, Bio-Chemistry, Pharmacy and Nursing courses, apart from Certificate course in Homoeopathy for Allopathy doctors.
Dear young friends, as I had stated earlier, you are in this noble profession in challenging times. We have less than 1 doctor per 1000 population, which is lower than WHO prescribed ratio of 1:1000. The situation is worse in rural areas. In such a scenario, the alternative system of medicine, AYUSH can bridge this gap, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas.
Today’s occasion is all the more special because this is my first interaction with young healthcare professionals after the launch of the ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme on the Birth Anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Updhyay ji. It is truly a befitting tribute to Upadhyay Ji, who had propounded the sublime philosophy of Integral Humanism.
The scheme seeking to provide insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family will cover 10 crore marginalized and vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary healthcare.
Sisters and Brothers,
As you all are aware, technology-driven modern healthcare is becoming increasingly expensive.
As per the World Development Indicators, out of total expenditure on health in India, only 30 per cent is contributed by the public sector. Remaining 70 per cent of the expenditure is borne through private expenditure. Of the Household expenditure on health, it is estimated that 95 per cent is out-of-pocket expenditure borne directly by the individuals at points of health services, while the remaining 5 per cent goes towards insurance.
As regards out-of-pocket expenditure, 52 per cent expenditure is towards medicines, 22 per cent towards hospitalization at a private hospital and 10 per cent goes for diagnostic labs. It is a matter of concern that in many instances families were pushed into debt trap by high costs of medical treatment.
Unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon for the poor and needy sections of the society.
People are looking for affordable healthcare and Homeopathy definitely fits the bill on this count as an alternative system of medicine. There is immense scope for preventive and curative Homoeopathy treatment in interior remote locations where no modern, diagnostic medical facilities are available.
Keeping this in view, the Government has introduced Homoeopathy treatment in its primary and secondary health centers. Homoeopathy treatment is available in 30 per cent clinics of the Central Government AYUSH dispensaries.
Today, there are 2.8 lakh homoeopathy doctors in the country. Apart from seeking homoeopathy treatment for common illnesses and diseases, it is being adopted for preventive and curative care. Homoeopathy has also been integrated into screening and prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, strokes and other lifestyle related ailments.
The need of the hour is to put in place standardized practices and processes for all systems of medicine and I glad that the National Health Policy proposes to mainstream Homoeopathy and other Indian systems of medicine by standardizing the processes and practices.
In order to standardize and maintain the quality of homoeopathy education and research, the Parliament has recently passed the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill to regulate education institutions and weed out unscrupulous elements that seek to exploit the growing opportunity in this sector.
The Bill makes Central Government’s approval necessary for establishing a new institution or even to start a new course. It should be our collective obligation to not let this humanitarian discipline to be besmirched by the unethical lust for profit.
An area of concern that needs to be addressed by all, including prestigious institutions like yours, is the quality control of homeopathy medicines. The quality control needs to be strengthened and the drug manufacturers should be made to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices.
It should be remembered that safety of homeopathy medicines largely depends on their quality. Although, homeopathy medicines are often diluted when administered, their safety assessment is of paramount importance to remove any impurities of source material or contamination.
I am told that a Central Scheme of Pharmacovigilance for AYUSH medicines is being framed by the Government to monitor the quality control at every level. It is necessary to have at least one testing and drug manufacturing facility in every State under this scheme.
In the absence of quality control and standardization of medicine, this upcoming sector of affordable healthcare may lose public faith. It is therefore essential that homoeopathy institutions and research councils take initiatives and create a critical mass of skilled manpower to take up such assignments.
Homoeopathy as a healthcare system has been recognized in 80 countries today. It is therefore your social and academic obligation to take your discipline forward with new discoveries and innovative research. I am happy to learn that homeopathy practitioners have actively used digital methods to store their data, analyze them and share their research with larger community of Homoeopaths.
I am happy to note that the Homoeopathy University conducts Ph.D programme and also publishes the Journal to share the research work with larger medical community.
Young Doctors and Distinguished Members of the faculty,
At the end of my Convocation Address, let me quote a message from Taittariya Upanishad, which the teacher gives to the students at the end of course: “Be truthful. Do your duties. Continue to study and learn. Do not swerve from the path of Truth and Dharma, and contribute something useful to the society. Aim for excellence. Keep improving your knowledge. Use whatever you have learnt and share your knowledge with others. Respect the gods and your ancestors. Look upon your parents, teachers and guests as gods. Always analyse and distinguish the good from the bad. Avoid the latter and always do what is good. Follow all that was good in your teacher’s life, not any other. You will meet with better men than even the teachers with whom you have lived. Show them due respect.” I find this message to be quite appropriate for today’s occasion.
I wish all success to the distinguished Faculty of this esteemed institution and the students in their professional careers and personal endeavors.