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Wed 22, Feb 2012

Govts ignoring homeopathy: Dr Mukesh Batra

The Central and State Governments need to do a lot more than mere recognition provided to enable the homeopathy system of medicine to flourish and grow on an encouraging rate, a senior homeopath said. Talking to UNI, Dr Mukesh Batra, Chairman of Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinic, said Homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine to be practised in India, next to Allopathy, but its coverage is woefully small and research and development is virtually nil. It is restricted mostly to the urban areas. He lamented that the country lacked the necessary political will to give prominence to Indian systems of medicine which could play more than a complementary role. It is ironical that the country which produces the largest number of homeopathy doctors in a year does not provide the necessary impetus for its growth and even the Government and ESI hospitals have no separate sections to give patients their choice of treatment, Dr Batra lamented, stating that Homeopathy is recognised in the National Health Scheme in England and in France homeopathy is as popular as allopathy. Reeling out statistics relating to Homeopathy, he said currently Homeopathy is a Rs 2,788 crore business in India and growing at about 20 to 25 per cent. By 2017 it is expected to touch around Rs 6,000 crore. The country has the largest number of homeopathy doctors of 5,00,000 with each year 20,000 new homeopathy doctors being turned out by 185 colleges besides 35 institutions which offer post graduate courses. The country also has around 11,000 homeopathy hospitals. Compared to this France has a business of Rs 26,000 crore in homeopathy. Homeopathy is practiced in as many as 80 countries. Dr Batra said Homeopathy as a preventive medicine is also neglected and it can offer medical help to poor and down-trodden at relatively low cost when compared to the modern medical system. As an instance he quoted Andhra Pradesh Government which has ten years ago mass circulated Belladona homeopathy pills to prevent spread of gastroenteritis. Homeopathy offered healthcare options at relatively low cost and this need to be spread in rural areas, he urged. He said the government should also promote public-private partnership initiatives to enable homeopathy get the necessary boost within the country and each government hospital should have at least some beds reserved for homeopathy patients.