Thank you very much Sir, for giving me the scope to speak on this Bill. Sir, I would have been very happy if our government would have given sufficient effort before to improve this age old system of medicine.
Sir, in my opinion this is nothing but another backdoor process of grabbing the power of another democratically elected autonomous body, which we have been witnessing since so many years. Sir, our present government has broken the previous record of bringing Ordinances. So far, as my knowledge goes, previously it was a maximum of 1 or 2 Ordinances per 10 Bills. Now, so far my information goes, it has crossed more than 4 per 10 Bills. It is really shocking.
Sir, I would like to put forward certain important points before this House. In the year 2018, the Central Council of Homeopathy was dissolved based on certain allegations of corruption against the then existing Central Council of Homeopathy; a Board of Governors consisting of seven members was formed at that time. Sir, the most unfortunate part of the story is till date one post is lying vacant out of the seven members of the Board of Governors.
Secondly, one year has passed that vacant post is still lying vacant. The charge was that of corruption against the Central Council of Homeopathy, but unfortunately no charge could be proved in last one year. Sir, it was ensured that a democratically-elected Central Council of Homeopathy will be formed within one year. Unfortunately that election could not be held in the last one year. So, I am becoming apprehensive whether in the coming year this government will be really able to hold the election or not.
Sir, in 2019 this Bill was brought in Lok Sabha on June 27 with a proposal of extension of the duration of Board of Governors for another one year. Sir, my certain observations and reservations are like this. First of all, the Central Council of Homeopathy used to be formed by the process of a democratic election. But whenever there is a provision of Board of Governors it was not known to all of us what was the criteria of being a member on that Board. I don’t know on what basis the government selected the Board of Governors. So, I once again believe that it is nothing but the effort of grabbing the powers and giving it to the hands of bureaucrats.
Sir, my question is why the election could not be held in the last one year?
Sir, my question is why the vacant post could not be filled in the last one year?
Sir, my question is – Homeopathy is an age old system of the country, and so far my state of West Bengal is concerned, it is the pioneer of this homeopathy system. But most unfortunately not a single representative from this State was given the opportunity of being a member of this Board of Directors. Sir it is very unfortunate to note.
Sir, in our state of West Bengal, when Madam Mamata Banerjee took charge as the Chief Minister cum Health Minister in 2011, the then health budget was Rs 682 crore. And now in 2019 it has become Rs 9700 crore, I repeat Rs 9700 crore. An increase of nearly 1400 times. Sir, unfortunately on the other side, in our country the health budget is meagrely 1.5% of the total GDP. And moreover we have seen that out of the total budget of Ayush department, homeopathy gets only 13% of the entire departmental budget. It is reflected in the name, as Ayush stands for A for Ayurveda, U for Unani, Y for yoga, S for Siddha and H for homeopathy. H comes last, so budgetary allocation for homeopathy also comes last. It is only 13% of the total Ayush departmental budget, Sir.
Sir, I would like to highlight certain important points of my own state. Status of medical officers of homeopathy in India – the total number of posts is 71 and the vacancy is 39, that is more than 50 per cent. The CGHS wellness clinic vacancy in West Bengal, total created post was 10 and the vacancy is 6; so 60% is vacant there. Specially in the clinics like Airport, 2 vacancies, in clinics like Shyambazar 2 vacancies, in clinics like Dover Lane. These clinics are very very important so far as their geographical distribution is concerned, but the posts are lying vacant, Sir.
Sir as per the need of the hour, few more posts should be created specially for places like Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Asansol and Durgapur. Sir, I would like to let you know regarding the outreach schemes camps status in West Bengal. It is only 10 where it should be at least 3 per district, that is for 23 districts it should be at least 69, Sir.
Finally, the junior research fellows and senior research fellows should be given due importance, Sir. If you go to our National Institute of Homeopathy, which is situated in Kolkata, you will start crying, I repeat you will start crying, the situation is so horrible. The faculties are not there, patients hardly like to go to that particular institute to get treatment. The same condition exists in the Shillong Institute which was supposed to be the best institute in north eastern India.
Sir, my humble submission is that our government should give due importance to improve this age old homeopathy system, instead of going for the bridge course, as mentioned by the previous speaker. Instead of improving this homeopathy system, they are trying to run a bridge course, by the process of which homeopaths, ayurveds are allowed to practise modern medicine. Then they neither become homeopaths nor allopaths. So, this points must be taken into consideration.
Thank you very much.