Switzerland has recently formed a committee to formulate norms for the approval of Ayurveda practitioners and medicines in the country.
The Swiss government in 2015 recognised and sanctioned Ayurveda medicine and therapy, the traditional medicine system, becoming the first western country to do so.
” Ayurveda has huge following here. The government has formed a joint committee to formulate norms in this regard. There are areas which Switzerland is exploring — approval of medical practitioners and the medicines that can be sold,” a senior official, familiar with the development, told PTI.
For approval of doctors, tests have to be held and for that a curriculum is needed, he said.
“Many hotels offer Ayurveda massages as a part of their spa packages and in the early days most Ayurveda practitioners had minimal qualifications and experience.
“As a result of this lack of credibility and recognition, most health insurers refuse to reimburse patients for the cost of Ayurveda consultations, including those with supplementary coverage for alternative therapies. All these issues need to be addressed,” the official, who did not wish to be named, said.
In 2009, the Swiss people voted to add a new article to its Constitution for the recognition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).
Switzerland is thus the first western country to implement the integration of CAM in its public health system and institutionalise Ayurveda in its complete span, covering the fields of clinical practice, professional training, research and availability of medicines.
In 2010, the World Health Organization published the benchmarks for professional training in Ayurveda. The content is inspired by the syllabus for ayurvedic doctors in India (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery).