Mumbai: The coming together of Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Tourism will result into a win -win situation for both in terms of promotion of tourism and AYUSH, opined Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH, Govt. of India. “We have to develop infrastructure as more foreign tourists are making a beeline to India due to yoga. We had a meeting with the Union Tourism Minister, and the Minister has agreed to help us in promoting AYUSH. We are trying to work out how we can work in tandem,” he said.

Replying to a question over AYUSH emerging as a major contributor in establishing India as a medical tourism hub, Naik said that the Ministry of AYUSH has signed MoUs with 12 countries for cooperation and research. “We have 10 chairs in foreign universities just to teach Yoga and other ancient medicines. Our information centres are working there. Gradually, we are expanding to more countries and have been receiving positing responses,” he informed.

Enumerating the initiatives taken by his ministry, Naik said that All India Institute of Ayurveda was opened last year in Delhi to bring in the synergy between traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern diagnostic tools and technology. “It is a good model which is at par with AIIMS in Allopathy. It has started working towards facilitating quality patient care and research, bridging gaps in scientific information about quality, safety and efficacy of Ayurveda products, and developing benchmarks of Ayurvedic education, research and healthcare. At the time of opening, 400 people were coming per day and this number has now gone upto 1200. We are developing such institutions in sync with our Budget. We need more funds to open more such institutes and have sought more funds from the government,” he informed.

He also said that the ministry has opened North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy at Shillong in Meghalaya. The institute runs the College of Ayurveda and College of Homeopathy with admission capacity of 50 students each along with a 100-bed Ayurvedic hospital and 50-bed homeopathy hospital. “We are getting good response. There are 50 seats for graduation and all seats are full. Recently, we started a Regional Homeopathic Research Centre and Hospital in Tripura and the Ministry has announced an AYUSH hospital in each district of the country,” he said.

“We have already approved 100 such proposals for different states. We will have more than 600 hospitals in the next five years. It is a progressing step. We have adopted 10 districts. The biggest benefit is creating awareness about health. We will take 100 districts and all of them will have integrated facilities for alternative medicine,” he said.
Naik also informed that his Ministry is looking at an integrated Ayurveda resort in Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala. “We are also looking to integrate AYUSH with tourism. We have already started working in this direction. In next 8 to 10 years, AYUSH will not be an alternative system of medicine but part of the mainstream,” he said.

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