The homeopathy medical sector, despite boasting over an estimated 2,000 clinics and hundreds of doctors across the country, has remained largely unregulated and ignored with the government failing to establish the homeopathy council proposed some two decades ago.
Homeopathic treatment has been recognised as scientific and equivalent to the allopathic and ayurvedic medicinal practice by the Health Service Act 1940. After the law came into effect, two different committees—one in 1991 and the other in 2006—were established to lay the grounds for the establishment of the proposed council. Both the committees presented their reports to set up the council but nothing has happened so far as the government is reportedly uninterested in implementing the recommendations.
This apathy has made the only state-run Pashupati Homeopathy Hospital in Lalitpur a sorry sight and the private clinics remain largely unbridled.
The state-owned homeopathy hospital has only three certified doctors and 18 staff. The recommendation to recruit 12 more staff by the organisational and management survey in 2007 has not implemented yet. Despite having 25 beds, the hospital provides only the OPD service
free of cost owing to lack of employees, doctors and nurses. Dr Sabbir Khan, director of Pashupati Homeopathic Hospital, opined government discrimination is to blame for the underdevelopment of the homeopathy medical sector. “Despite our repeated requests, the government has not established an independent homeopathic council. A high level committee was formed but it hasn’t work as planned,” said Dr Khan.
Homeopathic physician Dr Rajesh Pradhanang, however, also says that lack of regulation of the private homeopathic clinics has been a major hindrance for this sector’s development. “In Nepal, it is the pseudo-homeopaths who are creating problem. Besides, there is total lack of regulation, followed by general ignorance about the homeopathic treatment.” He also said unscientific cosmetic items like lotion and powder were being produced in the name of homeopathic medicine, degrading the authenticity of homeopathy.
The homeopathy could prove a reliable alternative treatment to help improve the public health service delivery. “Homeopathic medicine can cure many diseases and health problems without surgery. Problems such as kidney stone, gall bladder stone, warts, corn, bulky uterus, fibroid uterus, tonsilitis, and pterigium can be cured by homeopathic medicine. It’s high time the government did the needful to promote this sector,” said Dr Khan.
Published in Kathmandu Post