The Delhi High Court on November 2nd asked the Centre and Delhi Government to respond to a plea for including ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy in Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
The petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought inclusion of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy in the National Health Protection Mission, AB-PMJAY to secure the citizens’ right to health.
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As per the National Health Authority, AB-PMJAY is the largest health assurance scheme in the world which aims at providing a health cover of ₹5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 12 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 55 crore beneficiaries) that form the bottom 40% of the Indian population.
Mr. Upadhyay contended that Indian systems such as ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy are not covered under AB-PMJAY.
“PMJAY, that is, Ayushman Bharat predominantly covers and is limited to allopathic hospitals and dispensaries while India boasts various indigenous medical systems, including ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, siddha, unani, homoeopathy, which are rooted in India’s rich traditions and are highly effective in addressing the healthcare needs of the present time,” the petition said.
It said India is rich in various great traditions of sages and has clear evidence of this in various available scriptures, vedas, puranas and upanishads.
“Unfortunately, due to various policies created by foreign rulers and individuals with a colonial mindset, our cultural, intellectual knowledge and scientific heritage have been systematically eroded. Along with this, these foreigners, motivated by a profit-oriented approach, have thoughtfully implemented many laws and schemes during the time of our country’s independence that have slowly undermined our rich heritage and history,” the plea said.
While listing the case for further hearing on January 29, the High Court asked the Centre and the Delhi government to submit their counter affidavits within eight weeks.