Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Saturday urged all the state governments to work with the Centre to improve the quality of Ayurveda healthcare services in the country."Health for all through a holistic medicine system was not just the mandate of the central government, it also needed active support from all state governments," Vardhan said addressing health ministers from various states who had gathered for a plenary session at the 6th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) being held here.He emphasised that though many states have made laudable progress in healthcare delivery, but the need of the hour is to work together and with foresight so that we can set a model for the rest of the world.The health ministers from the states who attended the session included Kalikhopul from Arunachal Pradesh, Shankar Chaudhary from Gujarat, Anil Vij from Haryana, U.T. Khader from Karnataka and P. Longon from Nagaland.Many of the states and union territories were represented by top officials and bureaucrats of the health department.Vardhan said that the central government was committed to promote Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems and the recommendations from the WAC will be vital to the policy making efforts.
"A draft National Health Policy is expected to be ready by the end of the year and one of the key objectives of the newly constituted Ayush Mission is to ensure that the central government provides all support to state governments working to promote traditional medicine," he said.The minister urged states to develop implementable projects and schemes to usher in universal healthcare.Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka Health Minister U.T. Khader said the focus should be on rolling out disease prevention programmes rather than setting up more and more hospitals.Ayurveda and other traditional methods could be extremely effective as preventative measures and should be integrated into the mainstream medical systems, Khader said.Tamil Nadu's health minister C. Vijaya Bhaskar pointed out that his was the only state that had a separate department for Indian traditional medicines in government medical colleges.The health ministers assured of their governments' commitment to the promotion of Ayurveda and the creation of holistic healthcare systems.