The next time you are up skiing in the Swiss Alps and happen to sprain your ankle, you can have good old Ayurvedic treatment like you always do back at home in India. That too from a federally recognized national diploma-holding practitioner who is part of the Swiss healthcare system!
Image: All rights and credits to : www.igluski.com
The Swiss government has just passed an order by which practitioners of India’s ancient healthcare system can now be awarded nationally recognized diplomas in Ayurveda after passing the qualifying exam. This nod from the government will bring credibility and acceptance to the system, which was until now regarded as merely a system for wellbeing and relaxation, rather than a medical system. In addition, this newfound credibility will urge insurance providers also to look favorably upon Ayurvedic treatment options and reimburse patients who opt for it.
An appeal to include complementary and alternative medical systems in the constitutional list of paid services was rejected due to lack of scientific proof of effectiveness. However, strong lobbying helped get them on the list in 2009. The systems that made the list were homeopathy, holistic, herbal and neural therapies and traditional Chinese medicine, on the condition that certified practitioners provided them. Ayurveda was still not included in the list
Swiss Professional Association for Ayurveda Practitioners and Therapists (VSAMT) now swung into action and took steps to get Ayurveda included as an eligible discipline for national diploma, which would allow practitioners without a medical degree to receive a recognized diploma of qualification, in turn, gaining the system standing with health insurance providers.
They also took steps to demarcate the difference between Ayurvedic massage and Ayurvedic medicine and categorized practitioners based on their expertise, experience and qualification. Thanks to these efforts, Ayurveda has now been approved as one of the four therapies – the others being Chinese and European traditional medicines and homeopathy – for the national diploma by the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI).
Government approval of Ayurveda also bodes well for patients, as they can now go to a qualified practitioner, instead of one who has attended just a crash course. The next step to be taken is to obtain prescription rights for the practitioners of Ayurveda, to prescribe Ayurvedic medicines and food supplements. Quality control issues and regulations regarding therapeutic products are now being reviewed and once this is done, Swiss Ayurvedic practitioners will have more reasons to rejoice.