Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases but also a complete way of life. The Department of Indian System of Medicine (ISM) renders medical aid to the people through the network of Ayurveda hospitals and dispensaries, grant-in-aid Ayurveda institutions, Sidha, Unani, Visha,Netra and Naturopathy. Specialty hospitals such as Mental Hospital, Panchakarma, Nature cure and Marma are functioning under this Department. At present there are 125 hospitals and 818 dispensaries under the department. The State Medicinal Plants Board co-ordinates matters relating to the cultivation, conservation, research and development and promotion of medicinal plants in the State. List of major institutions and district wise distribution of institutions, beds and patients under ISM department during 2015 and 2016 are given in Appendix 4.60.
Special projects were implemented by the ISM Department during 2015-16 in addition to the normal medical treatment. The specialised treatments and number of beneficiaries are as follows; Balamukulam (2968), Ritu (3339), Prasadam (1583), Koumarashtoulyam (209), Drishti (420), Jeevani (500), Punarnava (138), Karalrogamukthi (2212), Snehadhara (717), Geriatric Care (3003), Yoga (10507), Sports Medicine (8505), Panchakarma (47322), Ksharasutra (9614), Manasikam (1784), Vayoamritham (651) and Bhamini (100).
Government of India has set up two regulatory bodies to set standards of medical education. The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) under Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act 1970 regulates educational institutions and practitioners in respect of Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha systems of medicines. The Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) under Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 regulates educational institutions and practitioners in respect of Homoeopathy system of medicines. At present Yoga and Naturopathy, being drugless systems, are not regulated.
Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has launched National AYUSH Mission (NAM). The basic objective of NAM is to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening of educational systems, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and medicinal plants. The funding pattern will be 60:40 by Centre and State. Government of Kerala started Ayush Department in the State on August 8, 2015.
OUSHADHI is the largest manufacturer of Ayurvedic medicines functioning in India in the public sector. It is one among the few profit making public sector undertakings. Oushadhi is the exclusive supplier of Ayurvedic medicines to Government Hospitals and dispensaries of Ayurveda Department. In Kerala, Oushadhi supplies medicines each year to State ISM department at 30 per cent less than market price and ISM Department supplies this medicine to the poor patients in the State free of cost. The company also caters to the demand of the public through a network of 492 exclusive agencies spread all over the State. The sales proceeds of the company during 2015-16 was Rs. 92.81 crore and the profit was Rs.20 crores.
There are 3 Government Ayurveda Colleges situated at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrippunithura and Kannur having bed strength of 1389.Total numbers of inpatients treated during 2015 were 6648 and outpatients treated were 523915. It was 13099 and 460581 respectively during 2016 (upto November 2016). Panchakarma hospital and Women and Children hospital are also functioning under the Government Ayurveda College Thiruvananthapuram. There are two aided Ayurveda Colleges, 11 self-financing Ayurveda Colleges, one self-financing Siddha College, one self-financing Unani College and 6 Paramedical self-financing colleges are functioning for imparting Medical education. Annual intake of students for UG Degree is 980, PG Degree is 127 and Paramedical Courses is 700.