Ayurveda needs to go beyond purification and de-toxification and offer solutions for diseases: Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt of India

New Delhi: During the pandemic there has been an increased interest in the country’s ancient medical and wellness therapies including Ayurveda, yoga and various other traditional practises. India currently ranks 6th in terms of its medical tourism industry out of 46 destinations. The potential of medical tourism in India is high, however, it is currently in its nascent stage. It is pivotal for India to leverage its inherent strength of Ayurveda, as it is the future of medical travel.

Towards this, the Confederation of Indian Industry organised Global Ayurveda Medical Travel Summit “Ayurveda – The Future of Medical Travel” from 18th -19th February, 2021 on virtual platform.

Addressing the inaugural session Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha Secretary Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India stated that in addition to purification and detoxification Ayurveda should offer solutions for not only NCDs but also for post therapy rejuvenation. Post covid management is another area that can be explored. With respect to medical value travel we need to facilitate visa provision. We are working with MoHFW and will soon issue guidelines that will facilitate our overseas patients to easily get medical visa to come to India for any Ayurveda treatment, He added that the Government of India has launched the Champion Sector Scheme and is inviting investment to the sector through supporting entrepreneurs and skilling paramedical human resources. Vaidya Kotecha said that India needs to capitalise & scale up and harness the potential of curative health. ISO sub-committee on Ayurveda and yoga has been formed that is working with BIS to make standard products and services. A major part of our budget is going towards research, standardization of process, ad institutions.

Mr Rajiv Vasudevan Chairman, CII Group on Ayurveda and Managing Director and CEO, AyurVAID Hospitals said that , “ For so long Ayurveda has been maturing and it is the right time that it serves the world. During the pandemic people have been homebound with restricted travel. This has increased the intensity of non-communicable diseases and mental illness as the lockdown impacted lifestyle and diet. The pandemic has led to increase in awareness of immunity. Ayurveda has immense potential for complications of various diseases as well as for Covid rehabilitation. The budgetary allocation has also increased by 40%. and schemes for critical care have been strengthened. which This goes on to show the government’s commitment towards this sector.

Dr Naresh Trehan Chairman, CII Healthcare Council & Chairman & Managing Director Medanta – The Medicity stated that India represents the highest end of medical knowledge in modern science, the highest end of traditional medicine in Ayurveda, and it is time to fuse the two. It is imperative that we understand how to bring in the different aspects of Ayurveda and project it to the world, while also bridging gaps between different countries and bring about a convergence of science and traditional medicines together.”

Ms Violetta Ianyshevska President, Global Healthcare Travel Council and Chairman, Ukrainian Association of Medical Tourism, Ukraine expressed that India should propose Ayurveda for post COVID rehabilitation and COVID complications. In many European countries doctors can now study Ayurveda medicine. Popularisation of Ayurveda must meet international standards and validation so that the knowledge of Ayurveda can be disseminated for increasing adaptation.”

Dr S Sajikumar CII Governing Council Member and Chairman & Managing Director Dhathri Ayurveda Private Limited provided concluding remarks by saying the need for adjuvant therapy will drive the Ayurveda sector and that rebuilding medical travel in India in a post covid world will not be a challenge for India.

Deliberations on this platform will focus on exploring the potential of Ayurveda in promotive, preventive and curative treatments both in India and Abroad. The platform will develop cohesive industry engagement with core cross-sectoral policy, dialogues and strategic exchanges enabled through high profile plenary sessions and disruptor talks. At this platform, we will have industry experts of Ayurveda from both India and abroad deliberating on the major demands, hindrances and future trends of this sector. The key components of the Summit would include Knowledge sessions, B2B Meetings and Exhibition.