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India Requires Accredited Homeopathic Centers for Trustworthy Treatment

India needs more certified or accredited centers for reliable homeopathic treatment, to alleviate mistrust and suspicion surrounding homeopathy

Dr. Shreepad Khedekar, MD - Medical Geneticist, Teacher and Author img

By Dr. Shreepad Khedekar, MD – Medical Geneticist, Teacher and Author

Homoeopathy has been practised in India for over 200 years. Even though it is popular and widely used, homoeopathy is still met with some scepticism. One of the major reasons why homoeopathic treatment is questioned is the lack of standardised and reliable treatment centres. In the Indian context, the absence of universally accepted certification and accreditation has led to concerns being raised about the quality, safety and efficacy of homoeopathy. This article explores the rationale behind the increased requirement for certified or accredited centres in India, postulating that the development of such establishments will facilitate improved homoeopathic care and help alleviate distrust.

 The Role of Homoeopathy in India’s Public Health System
Homoeopathy occupies a significant space in India’s public health system, with homoeopathy wellness centres comprising 31% of the total AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) services. Homoeopathy practitioners account for 37% of the total AYUSH practitioners in India. There are more than 200 institutions running courses on homoeopathy with postgraduate departments. Although there is only one homoeopathic centre for every nineteen allopathic units, the footfall at any homoeopathic unit is 20% higher as compared to an allopathic counterpart. This implies an enthusiastic uptake of homoeopathy, where a practitioner is available. Seven of the 10 diseases recognised as a national health burden in India are among the most commonly reported diseases at homoeopathy wellness centres. Again, this points to the important role essayed by homoeopathy in managing the country’s disease burden. About 65% of the population residing in rural areas still depends on traditional Indian medicines, including homoeopathy, for their primary healthcare needs. This is because they recognise homoeopathy as natural, holistic and far more accessible to them.

 The Present State of Homeopathy in India
Homoeopathy is among the most prolific systems of complementary medicine practised in India, and is relied upon by a large number of practitioners and patients in alleviating various health conditions. However, there are concerns about the quality of care resulting from lack of regulation and standardisation in the homoeopathic sector. Most homoeopathic practitioners do not undergo training or have formal qualifications; hence the quality of homoeopathic remedies differs greatly. This has resulted in a lack of trust among patients and in the medical community, leading to the perception that homoeopathy is not a reliable form of treatment.

 Certification and Accreditation is needed
The problem can be solved through certification and accreditation for homoeopathic treatment centres. Certification guarantees that homoeopathy specialists possess the necessary qualifications and training for safe and effective treatment provision.

 Similarly, accreditation ensures that treatment centres maintain specific standards with regards to the quality of treatment, safety, as well as hygiene. The implementation of these measures will engender trust in patients towards certified facilities leading, to an increased acceptance and acknowledgment of homoeopathy.

 Benefits of Registered and Approved Centers
Certified and accredited homoeopathic treatment centres will offer a range of benefits, the chief of which is improved quality of care by guaranteeing high-quality treatment meeting safety and efficacy standards. In addition, certification and accreditation can foster trust in patients as well as the medical community, increasing acceptance for and recognition of homoeopathy. Certification and accreditation will also help standardise the practice of homoeopathy thereby guaranteeing uniformity in its management by different practitioners across different areas. Additionally, certified and accredited centres play a crucial role in promoting research and development in homoeopathy, leading to a deeper understanding of its effectiveness and safety.

 Challenges Associated with Establishing Certified and Accredited Centers
The challenges with establishing certified and accredited homoeopathic treatment centres in India are multi-faced. First, the Indian homoeopathic industry must contend with ineffective regulation with respect to certification and accreditation standards. This regulatory gap poses a significant hurdle in ensuring quality and consistency across homoeopathic practices. The second issue is a dire lack of resources since most practitioners and centres do not have the necessary infrastructure to meet the stringent criteria for being recognised as certified or accredited centres. The dearth of finances limits the scope for improvement of standards in this sector. There is a perception among some practitioners that certification and accreditation impose Western standards on a traditional system of medicine, leading to reluctance in embracing these measures aimed at improving the quality and credibility of homoeopathic practices. Overcoming these challenges will play a key role in raising the standards of homoeopathy care in India.

 The Way Forward
To address the challenges in establishing certified and accredited homoeopathic treatment centres in India, an integrated approach that involves the government support in setting and implementing certification and accreditation standards is the need of the hour. Moreover, professional bodies that develop guidelines to promote these measures, patient education about the role of certified centres for high-quality homoeopathic care, and collaboration between homeopaths and allopathic doctors is necessary.

 India needs more certified and approved centres for homoeopathy to overcome mistrust towards homoeopathy. Certification and accreditation will ensure improved quality of care, increase the credibility of homoeopathy, and standardise practices in homoeopathy. Overcoming these challenges requires seamless collaboration with the government and professional associations, in addition to public awareness campaigns, and a complementary association with conventional medicine. The way forward is to improve the quality of homoeopathic services, which will consequently place India as a leading nation in complementary medicine thus improving healthcare options for its citizens.

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