The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy paper 2002-2005 explains that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine attracts the full spectrum of reactions, ranging from uncritical enthusiasm to uninformed skepticism. Yet the use of traditional medicine remains widespread in developing countries. In many parts of the world, policy-makers, health professionals and the public are wrestling with the question about the safety, effectiveness, quality, availability, preservation and further development of this type of health care. Meanwhile, in many developed countries, complementary and traditional medicine is becoming more and more popular. The percentage of the population, which has used complementary and traditional medicine at least once, is 48% in Australia, 50% in Canada, 42% in USA, 38% in Belgium and 75% in France.
In many parts of the world expenditure on TM/CAM is not only significant, but growing rapidly. In Malaysia, an estimated US$ 500 million is spent annually on this type of health care, compared to about US$ 300 million on allopathic medicine. In the USA, total 1997 out-of-pocket CAM expenditure was estimated at US$ 2700 million. In Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, annual CAM expenditure is estimated at US$ 80 million, US$ 2400 million and US$ 2300 million respectively.
In Nepal, Ayurvedic health services are being provided by the government through pharmacies since 1973 BS and the department of Ayurveda, leading organization ayurveda, was established under the ministry of Health in 2038 BS. But, There has not been much development of Ayurvedic science for long in Nepal.. Although ayurvedic science has tremendous potentials, no clinical researches have been conducted in this regard. Most of the ethno-botanical researches, researches on indigenous knowledge etc are conducted by either botanist or anthropologist. For the sake of development of the Ayurvedic science and procurement of efficient manpower, Ayurveda Health Policy (AHP) has emphasized the establishment of specific institutions. It has proposed the establishment of a National Ayurveda Study Center for quality service, management of manpower, research on Ayurveda and resource management etc. However even after a decade of policy promulgation, there has been no significant progress in this regard.
The county has only one central level Ayurveda hospital in Kathmandu with 100 beds and one regional hospital with 30 beds in Dang. Besides this, 14 zonal Ayurveda Ausadhalaya, 55 District Ayurveda Health Center and 216 Ayurveda Ausadhalaya (dispensaries) are in operation. There is no significant difference between Zonal Ayurveda Aushadhalaya and District Ayurveda Health Center. Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Rukum and Kalikot have only one state-run Ayurveda Ausadhalaya. Similarly, eighteen districts (almost of remote region) have only two and sixteen have three Ausadhalaya.
Till now only 2 private ayurveda hospitals are running in the country. Where Patangali Ayurveda Hospital is breaking through with its new branches on different parts of the country. On the otherside, Ayurveda campus has recently started to provide its OPD services in Kritipur and moving ahead to be established as a renowned Ayurveda Teaching Hospital.
If we do study on the number of Ayurveda technicians based on their birth place, thirty-one districts have no Ayurvedic Doctors, twenty-five districts have no AHA (Ayurveda Health Assistant), and thirty-three districts have no AHW (Ayurveda Health Worker). Baitadi, Achham, Dolpa, Kalikot, Jumla, Humla, Jajarkot, Manag, Rasuwa, Tehrathum, Dhankuta and Taplejung districts have no Ayurvedic technicians. Panchthar, Sindhupalchok, Sankhuwashava and Bajura districts have only one AHW and no Doctors and AHA. Darchula, Dadeldhura, Dailekh, Bardia, Rolpa and Ramechhap districts have only some AHA (maximum 4) and no Doctors and AHW. Makawanpur has only one Doctor and no AHA and AHW. Sad to say, Mahakali and Karnali Zones have no Ayurvedic Doctors. Among the five districts of Karnali Zone, only Mugu District has one AHA and one AHW. Janakpur is the richest in Ayurvedic technicians while Karnali is the poorest zone to have Ayurveda technicians including all levels. Similarly, nearly 49% of total Ayurvedic technicians are from Central Development Region and Far-Western Region represents just about 0.012%.
The scope of Ayurveda in government sector is also increasing. In 75 districts BAMS doctors are servicing. Ayurveda Hospitals are being equipped with all the facilities. There is not any discrimination on Ayurveda Manpower in regard to all facilities and grade than the manpower of other therapies. Government is planning to run MD and PHD in Ayurveda. Similarly for the research, modernization and development of Ayurveda, recently between the government of China and Nepal had an agreement to establish National Ayurveda research and training center in Kathmandu and Nepal side is doing homework to establish Herbal garden, hospital and research center in Terai region may be by the government of India.
Ayurveda is a virgin field of research. One who wants to research has unlimited opportunities in Ayurveda.