Centre committed to promote use of traditional medicines in public health system: PM

Modi was addressing ‘Vision Conclave,’ which was held as part of the five-day Global Ayurveda Festival in Kerala

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the Global Ayurveda Festival, in Kozhikode, Kerala. Also seen in the picture are Governor of Kerala, Justice (Retd.) P. Sathasivam, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy and other dignitaries.

The Centre is committed to promoting traditional medicinal systems like Ayurveda which remain untapped due to inadequate scientific scrutiny and concerns regarding standards and quality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Kozhikode. Addressing the ‘Vision Conclave’ held as part of the five-day Global Ayurveda Festival here, he also said the Centre was committed to promoting traditional medicines to provide cheap and effective healthcare in the country.

Modi said India would learn from the experience of other countries, especially China, which has put in place policies and regulations for promoting their traditional medicine and said the country can become a world leader in affordable and holistic healthcare.

“If these issues are addressed properly, I am sure Ayurveda can provide solutions to many health problems. India can be a leader in making affordable, holistic healthcare available to the world,” he said.

“We are committed to promoting the use of traditional medicine in our public health system through regulation of research and appropriate integration of quality products, practices and practitioners into the health system,” he said.

Such initiatives were being taken to address issues elated to escalating treatment costs and side-effects of medicines, he said.

Modi said steps were being taken to bring regulatory amendments for effective enforcement and strengthening the regulatory framework for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) drugs at central and state levels.

In this regard, he said initiatives were being undertaken to create a vertical structure for AYUSH drugs in the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation.

The steps also include control over misleading advertisements and extension of financial support to states under the National AYUSH Mission for quality control
activities. He said Ayurveda was relevant globally today because of its holistic and comprehensive approach to health.

“The Ayurvedic ‘dincharya’ or daily schedule helps to bring about peace and harmony in one’s life. Ayurvedic daily life routines are meant to enhance the total health of a human being, both mental and physical,” he said.

Modi said young entrepreneurs, planning a start up, would find lot of opportunities in holistic healthcare.

“We will maximise the utilisation of Ayurveda and Yoga and other traditions of healing in accordance with their genius and acumen and help promotion of integrative medical facilities.

Modi said China has made efforts to promote safe use of its traditional medicines which forms a large portion of the international trade of alternative medicine.
“I know that there have been great efforts in China to develop and establish policies and regulations for promoting the safe use of traditional Chinese medicine, which comprises a large chunk of the international trade of complementary and alternative medicine,” he said.

“We will learn from the experience of other countries and ensure that Ayurveda and other Indian systems are propagated and popularised,” he said.

He also said government would like to offer institutions as referral centres for training, capacity building and, information and technology exchange programmes in Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems.

On government policy, Modi said Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine were already aligned with the Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 of WHO which has been adopted in the World Health Assembly for implementation by 192-member countries of the organisation.

Referring to the problems faced by nations in the health sector, he said non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and cancer have become the greatest health challenges.

Quoting WHO figures, he said non-communicable diseases kill about 38 million people each year and almost three quarters of NCD deaths, that is 28 million, occur in low and middle-income countries.

“It is in managing these that Ayurveda offers solutions,” Modi added. He also said India would continue to share its knowledge on ancient systems with the world and continue to enrich its traditions by learning from other systems.

Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister, Kerala wanted the Centre to set up the proposed National Research Institute for Ayurveda in the state.

AyurvedaAYUSHHealthcareNarendra Modi