Delhi HC dismisses PIL to add ayurveda, yoga in Ayushman Bharat

The Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL to include ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy in the PM-JAY scheme

Promotional graphic of the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi (photo courtesy gstsuvidhakendra.org)
Promotional graphic of the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi (photo courtesy gstsuvidhakendra.org)
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IANS

The Delhi High Court on Monday, 29 January, dismissed a PIL that had sought the inclusion of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy in the Union government's public health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).

The bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, passed an order dismissing the plea by default, as no one appeared on behalf of the petitioner, BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

On 2 November 2023, the court had issued a notice to the Union ministries of AYUSH, finance, health & family welfare and home and to the Delhi government regarding this particular public interest litigation (PIL), which contended that the Ayushman Bharat scheme is currently limited to "allopathic" hospitals and dispensaries, excluding various indigenous medical systems like ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, siddha, Unani and homeopathy. The PIL claims these are deeply rooted in India's traditions and culture, and effective for addressing modern healthcare needs.

The court had sought responses from the authorities, who had been given eight weeks to file it.

The PIL also spoke of the need to recognise and integrate indigenous medical systems into public health schemes and of the importance of providing citizens with the right to choose their preferred treatment and "doctor" while ensuring widespread accessibility and quality of healthcare services.

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