Establishment of a ‘Consumer-centric Ayush Initiative’ (CAI) by the Union Ayush Ministry will support for increasing the demand for ayush medicines and therapies across India as well as in global countries, says a proposal submitted to the Ayush Ministry by Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra, founder director of the ‘Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation’, a Delhi headquartered patient organisation working on universal health coverage (UHC).
Prof. Misra, who has been recently appointed as the chairman of the expert committee constituted to look into matters related to insurance coverage for ayush treatments, has observed that an institution like CAI can engage with national and international consumer/patients’ organisations for promotion of ayush remedies and dissemination of knowledge about traditional medicines and treatments among people worldwide. The government can make the institution (CAI) as a member of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organisations (IAPO), the London based organisation associated with WHO.
This consumer-centric ayush initiative can engage in network with UN bodies like WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and others to bring ayush patients’ perspectives in various forums and healthcare related activities, especially in the UHC, and connect them with innovative insurance products as a tool to improve accessibility. Further, this initiative can conduct research studies on the outcomes of ayush treatments from the patients’ or consumers’ point of view and use the data in a transparent manner to convince the world community on the benefits of ayush remedies. This is well sufficient to provide an assured insurance cover for accessing quality healthcare under ayush system in an affordable manner as part of the UHC.
Talking to Pharmabiz, Prof. Misra said there is need for a dedicated institution like CAI supported by the ayush ministry to attract people from every part of India and abroad towards the ayush system. To realize this idea, we have to work out on developing a communication and marketing strategy by engaging experts who will design awareness campaigns aimed to make citizens of all countries demand ayush medicines. It is necessary to educate and empower the consumers as end-users of ayush and educate them to make an informed-choice based on credible and science based evidence. This should be disseminated in a simple and easy way of language understandable to them. This will be one of the missions of the CAI, he said.
Misra said the aim of the Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation is to improve accessibility to safe and quality healthcare for all under Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and tackling the menace of spurious and not-of-standard medicines in the supply chain globally. He said the Foundation has got one more office in Hyderabad and two more will be opened shortly, one in Kolkata and another one in Mumbai.
Pointing to the growth of the ayush sector in the last one decade, Misra who is an expert in international consumer policies, said the Indian ayush sector is growing rapidly to reach USD 23 billion this fiscal. The growth was less than USD 3 billion in 2014, but it crossed 18 billion USD in the beginning of this financial year. He said the ayush sector is envisaging a target of making 1.4 billion consumers in the next two years to access ayush care as a viable choice in the healthcare domain.