Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a special boost to the prospects of medical tourism in the years to come, announcing that the government is planning to introduce a special visa category for foreigners who wish to avail of Ayush therapy in India.
An ardent fan of the acronyms, the Prime Minister has named the ministry AYUSH which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. These are the six Indian systems of alternative medicine practised in India and the neighbouring countries.
Believer in the ancient wisdom, the prime minister has always advocated yoga and Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems believed to have developed a couple of thousand years ago in India. Ayurveda is
based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The treatments are based on breathing exercises and herbal contents.
Ayurveda is gaining popularity in the west in a limited circle. Gujarat as such is known as a medical tourism hub in the region. Many patients from the east African nations like Kenya visit India for treatment. Many from UK and US too, visit India for cheaper and more professional medical treatment.
On a three day visit which can be linked with the upcoming elections in Gujarat, the prime minister chose to make these announcements. Narendra Modi was in the presence of the Director-General of the World health organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth during the ‘Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit’, at Mahatma Mandir, in the capital of Gujarat.
Narendra Modi praised the AYUSH Kadha and said it helped boost “people’s immunity” during the pandemic. Talking about the subject dear to his heart, the prime minister said that this was the first time an investment summit was being held for the AYUSH sector.
The head honcho of the global health body World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, who was also in Gujarat, asked the innovators, industry and government to develop traditional medicine in a sustainable, environmentally sensitive and equitable manner.
Ethiopian by birth, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus added that “When bringing traditional medicines into markets, we must ensure that the communities who had nurtured it and passed on this knowledge also benefit from their development”
Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel & Union AYUSH Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were also present at the event.