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Suresh Prabhu stresses on integration of Ayush infrastructure into healthcare system

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]

Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry has stressed on mainstreaming the Indian System of Medicine and integrating the Ayush infrastructure into the healthcare system to tap the maximum potential of Ayush systems in imparting preventive, promotive and holistic healthcare to the people.

Prabhu was speaking at International Arogya 2017, the first international conference and exhibition on Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy) and wellness systems organized by FICCI in collaboration with Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Pharmexcil from December 4-7, 20017.

More than 1,500 delegates and visitors from India and 60 countries took part in the four-day event which is being held in the backdrop of the National Health Policy 2017.

The commerce minister said, “In the recent past, we have seen a resurgence of interest in traditional systems of medicine due to their enormous utility in tackling lifestyle disorders. People from across the world are coming to India for health-restorative cum alternative treatments. With a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, India is the second largest exporter of Ayush and herbal products in the world. We now have an opportunity to mainstream the Indian system of medicine and integrate the Ayush infrastructure into the healthcare system. This infrastructure consists of 1,355 hospitals with 53,296-bed capacity, 22,635 dispensaries, 450 undergraduate colleges, 9,493 licensed manufacturing units, and 7.18 lakh registered practitioners. We want to tap the maximum potential of Ayush systems in imparting preventive, promotive and holistic healthcare to the people.”

Talking about the India opportunity, Prabhu said, “The Indian domestic market of Ayush is estimated to be Rs. 500 crore, while exports amount to Rs. 200 crore. Young entrepreneurs planning a start-up could find a lot of opportunities in holistic healthcare. The government has allowed 100% FDI in Ayush. The Ayush industry is expected to grow in double digits and provide direct employment to one million people and indirect employment to 25 million people by 2020. All stakeholders need to pool their resources to harness this vast potential.”

Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Ayush, government of India, said, “The patient-centric approach of Ayush systems holds significant potential for finding solutions to India’s public health challenges. The government has taken many initiatives to popularize alternative systems of medicine. The National Ayush Mission was started in 2014. An agreement has been signed with WHO to develop benchmarks for Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Panchkarma. Five Ayush information cells have been set up in Israel, Tajikistan, Peru, Russia and Tanzania. The All India Institute of Ayurveda has been established at Delhi.”

Naik said “The government is offering incentives to Ayush industry for international cooperation and encouraging certification of Ayush products to facilitate exports. The Ayush Premium Mark is part of a new, voluntary quality certification scheme to ensure efficacy of Indian herbal products. There is now sufficient momentum to bring the traditional systems of medicine to a higher pedestal in healthcare.”

International Arogya 2017 was inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu and Shripad Yesso Naik in the presence of Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush; Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI and other dignitaries.

More than 250 manufacturers of alternative medicine are showcasing their products and services at International Arogya 2017. The mega event has brought key stakeholders of Ayush sector together under one roof to showcase latest research and developments in alternative medicine systems of India and boost exports of Ayush products.

A White Paper "Ayush for the World" by Frost & Sullivan was launched at the event to offer a roadmap for Ayush regulations and registration in ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries. It notes that India is the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternate medicine to the world and has a potential to generate 3 million job opportunities. The Indian herbal market is valued at around Rs. 5,000 crore currently, with an annual growth rate of 14%. More than 30,000 branded and 1,500 traditional Ayush products are available in the country.

A major highlight of International Arogya 2017 was Indian CEOs’ Roundtable, chaired by Shripad Yesso Naik. The event has host sessions built around themes like: Enhancing the export potential of Ayush; Business opportunities in integrative healthcare; Building a brand strategy; Standardization and quality control in Ayush sector; and workshop on essential herbal raw materials required in Ayush industry. There is also a meet of international regulators, with regulators from ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries, Canada and Switzerland participating.


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