Acupuncture to be now an independent system of healthcare

As per an office order dated 21st Feb, 2019 by Department of Health Research (No.U-11018/03/2018-HR/e-office: 3164145) on the subject “Recognition of Acupuncture as a system of Healthcare/Therapy”, an Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) was constituted on 20.10.2016, to examine the proposals received for recognition of acupuncture as a system of medicine.  Acupuncture was accepted as a mode of therapy vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Order No. R.14015/25/96-U&H(R)(Pt), dated 25.11.2003.

The Committee, which held its meetings on 04.10.2017 and 09.01.2018, submitted its report on 11.06.2018, which included the following two recommendations, among others.

  1. Acupuncture system, which is already recognised to be practiced as a mode of therapy, can be accepted as an independent system of healthcare for the indications for which there is evidence and expertise exists for teaching, training and certification.
  1. Expert committees may be constituted for this purpose which needs to include experts who are academically active in acupuncture – this can be determined from publications on the subject in reputed data bases like PubMed and not restricting to names suggested by the applicant associations. Experts from Allopathy and other systems also need to be members of such committees for drawing the boundaries for evidence-based practices, for ensuring complementarily and best interests of patients.

Based on the IDC’s report, the Government constituted an Apex Committee on Acupuncture for the purpose of promotion and regulation of Acupuncture as a system of Healthcare / Therapy: Dr VM Katoch, former Secretary, DHR and DG, ICMR (Chairman); Dr Raman Kapur, Chairman, National Coordination Committee (Acupuncture Expert), New Delhi (Vice-Chairman); Secretary (Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (or nominee), New Delhi (Member); Dr Vinay Goyal, Deptt. of Neurology, AIIIMS, New Delhi (Member); Dr A Mooventhan, Sr Medical Officer (Yoga), Centre for Integrative Medicine and Research, AIIMS, New Delhi (Member); Dr S Banerjee, Deptt. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi (Member); Dr JD Pandian, Professor of Neurology, CMC, Ludhiana (Member); Representative from ICMR, New Delhi (Member) and Joint Secretary, DHR (Convenor).

The Committee may, depending on requirements, co-opt member / expert from the relevant field.

The terms of reference for the Apex committee on Acupuncture will be as under:

  1. To frame detailed guidelines for promotion and regulation of Acupuncture as a system of Healthcare / Therapy.
  2. To suggest steps for implementation of the guidelines so framed as well as for reimbursement for Acupuncture.

iii.  To suggest appropriate authority/Department for implementation of the guidelines.

  1. To submit its final report to the Government within a period of three months from the date of the first meeting of the committee.

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