The ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) are attempting to mainstream alternative systems of medicine more than ever with the tremendous support provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Many administrative and policy measures have been taken up by the AYUSH ministry to boost up the growth of traditional medicine systems globally. Recently, the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated increased bilateral cooperation in traditional medicine including Ayurveda and yoga.
Many initiatives have been taken by the government and the ministry to make traditional medicine systems more accessible. For instance, all zonal hospitals of the ministry of railways in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Guwahati will have AYUSH doctors and paramedics serving the patients. Similarly, exclusive AYUSH hospitals and clinics will be set up by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). AYUSH is one of the 12 champion services sectors the government wants to promote. The AYUSH hospitals and wellness centers can avail soft loans and interest subsidy under a government scheme where a single physician that runs a clinic with five beds can become eligible for this scheme.
The government has set aside Rs 5000 crore to promote champion services, the AYUSH ministry hopes to utilize the fund to create at least one lakh job opportunities in the near future. A study commissioned by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates the size of India’s Ayurveda sector to be close to $ 4 billion. Considering the fact that India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) estimates the Indian hospital industry to be over $ 60 billion, the Ayurveda sector is still in its infancy. The government’s resolve to triple the industry size to $ 9 billion by 2022, hence looks quite possible.