The Centre is planning to provide Ayush facilities in 10 Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) dispensaries by March 2012.The move is after the government failed to meet its target of setting up 21 dispensaries for Ayuveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) systems under the CGHS.
Though the government has announced its plans to set up 21 Ayush dispensaries under the CGHS, a scheme providing comprehensive health care facilities for the central government employees, pensioners and their dependents residing in CGHS covered cities, during eleventh five year plan period of 2007 to 2012, not a single dispensary has been established till March 2010.
An outlay of Rs 6.30 crore was set aside during the eleventh plan period for expansion of Ayush system under CGHS but the expenditure reported upto March 15, 2010 is only Rs 1.47 crore and the provision of only Rs 1.30 crore are proposed for 2010-11. In a recent meeting of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, the committee reprimanded the ministry for not initiating even a single dispensary announced, which would be an act of supporting Ayush system in the country.
“The committee finds it very disturbing that a modest beginning of establishment of Ayurveda dispensaries at Delhi, Kanpur and Chandigarh, Homoeopathy dispensaries at Jabalpur and Bhopal and a Unani dispensary at Bhopal remains on paper. Reason given is more astounding i.e., inability to create the required posts,” criticized the committee.
However, the government has informed in its mid-term assessment of Eleventh Plan that it would provide Ayush facilities in 10 of its existing CGHS dispensaries within the end of the plan period, which is by March 2012. The committee suggested that the department should create and fill up the required posts with top priority with immediate effect.
The Ayush component was introduced in CGHS by opening of one ayurvedic dispensary way back in 1964. Since then, very few Ayush dispensaries have been set up under CGHS. The committee expressed its dissatisfaction that there has not been any worthwhile progress in this direction so far, in its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha at the end of April.
The healthcare facilities under the CGH Scheme are formed to support all central government servants paid through civil estimates, pensioners drawing pension from civil estimates and their family members, members of parliament (MPs) and Ex-MPs, judges of Supreme Court of India, ex-governors and ex-vice presidents, former prime ministers, employees and pensioners of autonomous bodies, former judges of Supreme Court of India and High Courts and freedom fighters.
At present, health services under CGHS are provided through allopathic, Homeopathic and Indian system of medicines, which comes under the Department of Ayush, according to the government officials. The medical facilities are provided through dispensaries or polyclinics and the chief medical officers and medical officers are in charge of the dispensaries for the smooth functioning of the scheme.