Public health perspectives in cross-system practice: past, present and future
Cross-system practice encourages practitioners of the traditional medicine systems to practise allopathy and results in the neglect of these systems, besides making them seem unattractive. It will also endanger public health due to the indiscriminate use of allopathic medications and eventually destroy the Indian systems of medicine.
There is no doubt about the utility of the Indian systems of medicine; and the integration of AYUSH into the mainstream of healthcare delivery is most welcome. However, the trend of encouraging cross-practice is not beneficial to any system. The need of the hour is to provide traditional medicine with an equal opportunity by mainstreaming all the systems under one roof, with complete abolition of cross-system practice. In addition, in the era of consumerism and of professionalism, the need to ensure the safety of the public is greater than ever. To this end, special care must be taken to reverse a situation in which patients are often prescribed medications that seriously endanger their health. The role of the government is to make all systems of medicine more accessible to the public and to establish a system in which the individual has the freedom to choose the medical service he/she wants.
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