India’s experiment with integrated medicine is happening right in Bengaluru’s backyard

HOSKOTE: The eight-room corridor in remote Jadigenahalli is in the midst of a medical revolution. The pilot project for India’s experiment with integrated medical care (to combine all systems of medicine) is happening right there in Hoskote taluk 25km from Bengaluru.

There are four clinics, all next to one another allopathy, natur opathy , ayurveda and homoeopa thy. And this is how it works: Once a patient walks in com plaining of an illness, heshe is subjected to a holistic evaluation. The patient’s history data sheet is readied before the system of medicine for treatment is chosen. For instance, if the person is diabetic, then the allopathy doctor does the blood sugar test and the ayurveda doctor counsels on diet because it re quires lifestyle modifications.

If it’s regular cough and cold the treatment is homoeopathy Likewise, if the patient walks in with muscle pain and shows symptoms of arthritis, then the course of treatment is a combination of ayurveda (oil treatment) and naturopathy (yoga for easing muscle tension).

The collaborative project of the Ayush ministry and Royal College of Medicine (London) is being implemented by international holistic healer Dr Issac Mathai under a public-private partnership model. WHO studies project: Last week, a team from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited Hoskote to study the project.”The idea is to see how we can integrate traditional systems of medicine with the western system (allopathy). With chronic diseases more prevalent in India, traditional systems of medicine must assist allopathy in finding a cure. For instance, if a patient walks in with blood pressure (BP) of 150, we won’t tell him to meditate… we’ll go for allopathy instead, because it comes under emergency care. In case of many other ailments, it could be a combination of treatment; the key is to co-exist. We have collaborated with the Karnataka gover nment whose clinic is right opposite ours,” Dr Mathai told TOI.

The infrastructure:

In all, the project has over 14,000 patient records from 5,900 households in seven villages. There are four consultation rooms for each system of medicine, a yoga room, a common lab for tests and a drug store. The store has three cupboards packed with ayurveda, homoeopathy and allopathy medicines.

Doctors Ramya K (homoeopathy), Dr Kavya Kamath and Dr Satish R (ayurveda) and Dr Prakash (naturopathy) are the perfect examples of co-existence at the project site. “We started off with mobile clinics and did that for nearly four years before setting up these ones. We’d go door to door, explaining the integrated system to villagers,” explained Dr Satish.

Not surprisingly, Harvard is using the Hoskote experiment as a case study for its medical students.The biggest ambassadors for propagating the integrated or holistic healthcare are the village women who do the job of spreading the good word. “We talk to people about the importance of not ignoring any pain or discomfort. We ensure the health kit is used and herbs in the garden are consumed,” said Ratnamma, who has benefited from integrated medicines for her goitre.

As Anupama and her coworkers put it: “We must move away from antibiotics and injection approach for all ailments and embrace natural systems of healing.”


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