Indian System of Medicines (AYUSH)
Directorate of I.S.M was established in 1987, before which it was a part of Department of Health Services J&K and used to function under the administrative control of Directorate of Health services. Since then the Directorate has been rendering yeomanly service in the Health care delivery system despite the fact that the Department gets only 4.61% of budgetary allocation when compared to health department. The Department provides health care to the people all over the State particularly in remote and to far-flung areas through a network of 417 sanctioned Ayurvedic and Unani dispensaries and 68 internal-arrangement ISM Institutions. The state being mountainous and full of hilly terrains, majority of the people living in far-flung areas depend on indigenous systems of medicine only, either because of the firm belief in the traditional systems or due to the fact that only this system of medicine is available to them in these areas.
The thrust of the department is on development of Infrastructure where under one 25 bedded Govt. Ayurvedic Hospital at Jammu, an I.S.M Pharmacy and a 50 bedded Hospital are being constructed at Srinagar in addition to the already functioning 485 dispensaries including one Ayurvedic Hospital at Jammu. AYUSH units have also been established in all major Govt, run allopathic hospital and Medical Colleges. Steps are also being initiated to promote Medical tourism with introduction of Panchkarma Units at International Golf Course and other health resorts. Two Medical Colleges are also being set, one at Brepur Jammu, and another at Ganderbal, Kashmir. Pertinently no ISM College existed in public sector till date. The aim of the department is to provide quality medicine to the people for which a Drug testing laboratory has been established at Jammu.
The department provides Health care services to the people through 451 ISM doctors and 574 Pharmacists (sanctioned posts) in addition to these ISM doctors and Pharmacists have also been engaged under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) who are discharging their services in Health care delivery System through PHCs of Health Department. Along with Ayurvedic and Unani doctors, the department has also introduced Homoeopathic System of Medicine in 2007 under which 30 Medical officer provide the option of Homoeopathic system of medicine to the people.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir is a treasure trove of herbs and the Department ensures conservation, sustainability and development of these through State Medicinal Plants Board. Directorate of I.S.M acts as a Nodal agency for State Medicinal Plants Board which has been set up in the State in 2001 with a view to ensure conservation, development and a marketing of Medicinal plants and to coordinate, monitor and give directions in accordance with the policies of National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) Department of AYUSH, Government of India