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Accreditation of AYUSH hospitals to ensure quality

The first hospital in the country was audited in Bangalore recently

TO give credibility to the quality of treatment under the traditional system of Indian medicine, the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH) has launched a sensitisation programme.

This is intended to create awareness about accreditation of AYUSH hospitals among the practitioners and other stakeholders.

The nation-wide programme, which began in Bangalore recently, will be held in 10 other cities across the country.

“NABH accreditation has always been for not only allopathic hospitals but also AYUSH hospitals. However, till now the awareness about it has been poor among AYUSH practitioners,” said G N Sreekantaiah, Director, AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).

Voluntary scheme
He said the aim of the programme is to encourage people to opt for accreditation since it is a voluntary scheme. Some experts feel that medical tourism could be one of the factors for AYUSH department’s interest in the accreditation scheme.

Incidentally, the first hospital was audited in the City recently. AyurVAID, a 30-bedded hospital, applied for accreditation in February, this year. “Accreditation gives patients greater assurance about the hospitals and its treatment. We are in the final legs of the accreditation process. Ultimately, we are interacting with people and hence, trust and credibility are of paramount irrespective of the system of medicine one practices,” said CEO Rajeev Vasudevan.

According to Dr Bhawna Gulati, assistant director, NABH, quality standards and guidelines for AYUSH hospitals were formulated along with Department of AYUSH for the last one-and-half years. Consequently, NABH launched the awareness and training programme for stakeholders. “Quality care is a new concept in AYUSH hospitals but the Department was keen to promote the idea of accreditation,” she said.

Envisaging a rise in the number of hospitals coming for accreditation after the workshops end, NABH has also trained about 60 people, who can audit and assess AYUSH hospitals. In addition to this, the fee to apply for accreditation is lesser than allopathic hospitals.

“We are looking at safety and quality of care that are of utmost importance. Not only should a hospital have required infrastructure but also clinical management,” opined Dr Vikram Kashyap, Principal Assessor and member of Technical Committee, NABH. The doctor, who attended the Bangalore workshop, also felt that while the treatment style is based on individual variance, the standard of treatment and infrastructure played a significant role.

Hospitals in State
– Ayurveda: 122 hospitals with 8147 beds.
– Unani: 13 hospitals with 402 beds.
– Siddha: 1 hospital with 10 beds.
– Yoga: 4 hospitals with 165 beds.
– Naturopathy: 23 hospitals with 1086 beds.
– Homeopathy: 20 hospitals with 896 beds.

(Published in Deccan Herald on 8th September, 2010)

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