To assess the number of users for different types of Indian systems of medicine, the Ayush department of the health ministry has tied up with the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) to include questions on the usage of Indian systems of medicine in the households in one of its next year’s surveys.
“India is the hub of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other systems of traditional medicine but we do not have a concrete database as to how many people actually opt for these systems of medicine,” said Anil Kumar, secretary, Ayush department of the health ministry.
NSSO, for the first time, will include a questionnaire in its consumer expenditure schedule for the 68th annual round on socio-economic surveys on the department of Ayush. Ayush department as yet has no such study available on the users of traditional systems of medicine.
The survey will start in July 2011 and will be conducted in four sub-rounds up to June 2012. The results of the same will be out in 2013.
“The survey results will give authenticated base level assessment from the households/population about the usage and acceptability of Ayush systems in the country,” said a note from the Ayush department.
Question number 13 in the questionnaire with 10 sub-questions will ask households the reasons for switching to Indian medicines, which kind of system of medicine they use, where do they get the medicines from and how often do they visit Ayush hospitals for treatment.
NSSO will collect information from one lakh households nationwide both in rural and urban areas. The data collected will be used for better planning for the Ayush department, said Kumar.