INTERVIEW

Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister

Union Minister For Ayush SHRIPAD YESSO NAIK in a discussion with AMIT GOENKA outlines his plans for providing quality health care at low price.

How CSR can help promote yoga and enshrine this as stamp of India for whole world to follow … Your thoughts!

CSR could play a pivotal role in the promotion and propagation of yoga, as the Corporate sector is spread across the globe. Initially corporate bodies can adopt Yoga and make their employees to follow it for their better health. Also, yoga is supposed to enhance the work efficiency and also promote the cognitive functions of a person. This will ultimately add to the work enhancement of any corporate sector. Besides this, corporate sector can facilitate to provide yoga retreat to its employees of minimum 7 days at least once in a year, which will also include the family members of the employees. Nevertheless, the corporate sector is also handling the health care delivery system in the country. It can think of establishing worldclass medical facilities in terms of hospitals, wellness centres in AYUSH especially in Yoga.

On health front, what are lndia’s challenges and how would you overcome them?

In our country there are several traditional systems of health care having their own concepts and principles of health and disease. Each system is having its own strengths in some area and weaknesses too. People are at times confused about which system to follow. To add to this there are experts who make tall claims about their system, which sometimes defeats the very purpose of treatment. Further, there are number of non-qualified, unskilled so called doctors who are practising in the country and they contribute to make the health care delivery system pathetic, especially in the rural and tribal set ups. Though there are laws which governs the practices of different systems of medicine, yet there are some problems here and there.

The conventional modern medicine is becoming more costly affair, and poor people not able to afford such facilities. On the other hand, the traditional health care system could not make inroads to the extent it was expected to. Resultantly, large number of people remain deprived of basic medical facility.

Even after so many years of independence, why primary healthcare remains an area of concern and what are your plans to overcome them?

As already mentioned, with the advancement in the modern medical system, the treatment today is a costly affair. Also, the modern medicine doesn’t have the answer for all the modern day health problems. Secondly, the larger population of the country is in rural area, the modern medicine doctors are not willing to go to villages and serve. The traditional systems could not be developed to the extent that it can cater to the primary health care.

Thirdly, there is no policy in place that traditional health care systems could be made the primary health care system, as prevailing in few other countries. With the development of a National Health Mission and National AYUSH Mission, we are trying to overcome these problems and succeeded to some extent also. Over the years I am sure that we will be able to provide the primary health care to the people to a larger extent. Also, the present Government policies are aimed at prevention of diseases through various programmes. After the declaration of lnternational Day of Yoga, the number of people practising Yoga has become considerably higher, which in turn is helping in the prevention of most of the diseases, especially the non-communicable diseases.

One singular thing you wish to accomplish as a Minister!

As a Minister, my wish is that the traditional systems of medicine must find an effective place in the primary health care delivery system across the country. For that I propose to develop at least one model centre for AYUSH in every state, so that people who are interested to avail the facility must find a suitable and authentic place for that.                             

CSR can play a big role in complimenting government efforts in healthcare. Do you have any plan to rope in corporate through CSR to meet the challenges!

As mentioned earlier, charity must begin at home. Corporates have to primarily focus to provide health care to their own employees and also to further extend the facility to others. Corporates sector employees are falling prey to acute/sever stress conditions, which can be managed effectively by the regular practice of Yoga. Corporate sector can plan for establishing world-class medical facility in AYUSH systems. lf not at least, the existing corporate hospitals can think of integrating the AYUSH systems in the main stream medical care having a separate facility in each Hospital.

Are you satisfied with your efforts for cancer care. lf not why and please elaborate on them!

No, Not fully…Cancer problem is becoming like an epidemic nowadays. Despite best treatment available in the different AYUSH systems, we are not able to make breakthrough in the prevention and management of cancer treatment.Efforts are being made to integrate the AYUSH treatment in the National Programme of Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases including Cancer. I’m sure in the coming years it will give results.

Government is planning 100 smart cities and each of these cities need world class health care. What are your policies and priorities for them? Have you prepared any strategy papers?

 

Strategy papers have not been prepared yet. But I have in mind that while planning the smart cities, the health care system need to be taken into consideration… and I am trying for that. Already I had a preliminary discussion with my colleague, Minister of Urban Development and I am sure the health care needs will be given priority in this.

Can you assure the people of lndia that under your leadership world class health facilities and care are in offing and people will get cheap and best health care in India which world will be envy of !

 

Certainly! The basic objective behind launching National AYUSH Mission is to make available the traditional AYUSH systems to the larger population with the active involvement of the State Governments. As you know these systems are cheap and best health care, which is the need of the hour.