Australia is the only country where Ayurveda is recognised as a bonafide system of medicine. Previously recognised as a system of natural medicine (Naturopathy), its now considered as a complimentary health medicine system. Most of the ayurvedic practitioners in Australia are from overseas countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Ayurveda has its existence in Australia since 1988 when Australasian Association of Ayurveda Incorporated(AAA) was registered as a national organisation. AAA has the largest group of ayurvedic doctors ( Bachelor in ayurvedic medicine and surgery-BAMS) since then. Ayurvedic graduates can also register with other ayurvedic associations such as Australasian Ayurvedic Practitioners Association (AAPA) and naturopathy association Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA). Registering for such associations provide ayurvedic practitioners (BAMS and advanced diploma in ayurveda graduates) access to private health funds rebate for their clients as well as professional indemnity and public liability insurance to cover them in case of any mishap to their clients.
Even after 30 years , there is no Ayurvedic Institute in Australia teaching Bachelor course in Ayurveda while all other naturopathy courses such as homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal medicine etc are taught at degree level. Australasian Association of Ayurveda Incorporated(AAA) has been trying from few years to have a bachelor level course in Ayurveda so that Australian ayurvedic graduates will have skills and knowledge required to be fully qualified, trained and complete ayurveda practitioners. To be an Australian recognised health system under medicare similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine , Ayurveda needs to be recongnised by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) . AHPRA recognise medicine that are taught at the level of Australian Qualification Framework( AQF-7) equal to a bachelor degree. To conclude a bachelor degree in ayurveda is a must to have Ayurvedic medicine in the main health stream.
Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA) is Australia’s regulatory authority for therapeutic goods including herb and natural medicines. With health complaints commissioner appointment in Victoria, all the health providers including complimentary health practices are more vulnerable to complaints. Its very important that all ayurvedic practitioners should follow its association code and conduct to avoid such complaints. I believe this a great initiative by Victorian government to stop illegal ayurvedic practitioners to enter into the workforce.
Many overseas ayurvedic graduates (BAMS) are interested to migrate and practice in Australia. Its important to note that it is near to impossible to get an ayurvedic job sponsor visa in Australia. Also ayurvedic doctors have to set their own businesses in Australia as only casual jobs are available that does not generate enough money to survive in Australia. Doing a short job oriented course such as certificate 3 , in pathology blood collection, pharmacy assistant , disability support or medical receptionist are few of such courses.
Australian states update their skill occupation list (SOL) every six to twelve months. If there are sponsorships available under certain categories then they have fair chances for migration. Consulting a Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) registered immigration agent is the best choice to look into immigration opportunities.
Recently there is a remarkable increase in ayurvedic treatments enquiries especially ayurvedic panchkarma, ayurvedic lifestyle and diet. Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies such as shirodhara, abhyanga and kati vasti are now very much popular in Australian population. Melbourne has the maximum number of ayurvedic practitioners and considered as ayurveda hub in Australia. Various ayurvedic cooking classes , workshops and seminars happen each year where ayurvedic lifestyle, yoga, and ayurvedic medicines are promoted.
I hope in near future, Ayurveda will gets its recognition in medicare (Australian public health system).
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