Maharashtra government looks at having its own homoeopathy, unani colleges

Maharashtra may get government-run medical colleges in the homoeopathy and unani streams as part of the department of AYUSH’s 2020 vision document.

“We plan to set up one state-of-the-art medical college each for homoeopathy and unani,” said a senior official from the department of AYUSH (an acronym for the systems of alternate medicine namely, ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoeopathy). He added that apart from having attached hospitals, these proposed medical colleges will also have well-equipped research centres. However, the location of these colleges has not yet been finalised.

The vision document aims at the betterment and strengthening of AYUSH medicine systems by 2020.

It also aims at appointing a study group at the government level for establishment of a separate university for AYUSH on the lines of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and assess whether this proposed varsity will fulfil the needs of the state. It seeks to promote research in AYUSH, conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants and effective administration of AYUSH drugs and creation of a proper regulatory infrastructure for the same at the state government level.

It also envisages creating a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 1,000 AYUSH hospitals and clinics under the AYUSH directorate and post a graduate or specialist from each AYUSH system of medicine at every district hospital as well as rural hospital. The document plans to make these systems of medicine available at all government, semi-government and municipal corporation-controlled hospitals and clinics apart from a separate OPD at every government- and local body-run hospital, primary health centre and clinic.

Maharashtra has 44 private homoeopathy colleges and three private colleges also impart education in the unani stream. “However, a few of these private homoeopathy colleges have high standards,” the official admitted, stressing on the need for the government to have a footprint in the sector.

The state government provides grants to three unani colleges in Mumbai, Malegaon and Pune, but it doesn’t have any unani or homoeopathy college of its own.

Maharashtra has 39 private ayurveda colleges and four government-run ones in Mumbai, Nanded, Osmanabad and Nagpur, which have an intake of 350 at the graduate and 102 at the postgraduate level. It also provides grant in aid to 16 private ayurveda colleges, which have an intake of 770 at the graduate and 127 at the postgraduate level.

The government has also increased its intake from 60 to 100 students at the graduate level in three of its ayurvedic medical colleges in Mumbai, Nagpur and Nanded, while the intake in the Osmanabad college remains the same at 50.

Maharashtra also has 44 medical colleges (allopathic), including 14 in the government sector, and four of these are run by the Mumbai and Thane civic bodies.

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