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Friday, March 26, 2010

Global Ayurveda Summit focusses on accreditation issues

KOCHI: Several speakers at the ongoing Global Ayurveda Summit being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush), Government of India, here on Thursday highlighted the need for standard accreditation system for hospitals and institutions practising traditional medicine, including Ayurveda.

It was pointed out that the process undertaken by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH) was being followed by a host of institutions, but concerted efforts were required to gain global acceptance.

Darshan Shankar, Executive Chairman, Institute of Ayurveda and Interactive Medicine at the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore, said a comprehensive accreditation system need not be a government initiative. Clinical management software was available and it could be helpful to those institutions seeking to adopt accepted standards. Accreditation would instil confidence among consumers. It would have an impact on manufacturing sector as well.

Mr. Shankar said setting up of autonomous institutes on Ayurveda and other traditional medicines would help promote innovation. ‘Good manufacturing practices' should give way to ‘next manufacturing practices' involving modern technology with a view to gaining excellence. Tools of IT should be utilised for various processes. Web-based short-term courses for young professionals of traditional medicine could also be started. Pointing out that Ayurveda had a role to play in public health, he said traditional practices adopted in the Ayurvedic system could be popularised to strengthen preventive healthcare.

Rajiv Vasudevan, founder and CEO of Ayurvaid hospitals and member, technical committee, NABH, said market expansion for Ayurveda beyond India could happen only with accreditation.

Ayurveda remained a personalised healthcare system. It was often forgotten that Ayurvedic treatment was basically a service-oriented one. Affordability and acceptability were important in the medical management procedures.

Harshajeet Kuroop, Managing Director, Birla Kerala Vaidyasala Private Limited, said the holistic nature of Ayurveda coupled with the absence of side-effects provided a good ground for the system to gain popularity. In an era of lifestyle disorders, conventional medicines had a significant role to play. Evidence based on documentation and integration of practices of herbal medicine was among the challenges faced by the sector.

T. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Kerala, said branding of Ayurvedic products of Kerala was being taken up at the ‘Care Keralam,' a cluster of Ayurvedic groups. Facilities for technology transfer, adoption of good manufacturing practices and research and development were being offered as part of the project. The centre was engaged in setting up accreditation norms, he said.

Several key issues involved in promoting Ayurveda at the global level were discussed by experts at the seminar. The three-day meet will conclude on Friday.

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