Rs.550 crore given for alternate medicine systems: Azad

New Delhi


More than Rs.550 crore have been given to various states for establishing centres for alternate medicine like homeopathy and ayurveda as part of the National Rural Health Mission, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday.

For mainstreaming of alternate systems of medicine under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), grants-in-aid amounting to more than Rs.550 crore have been given to the state and Union Territory governments, Azad said, addressing a function here.

The money would be used for establishment of new facilities of homeopathy, ayurveda, siddha and unani streams of medicine in 803 primary health centres, 113 community health centres and 24 district hospitals, and for upgradation of 379 such hospitals and 415 dispensaries.

"We have a pluralistic healthcare delivery system, where the government provides opportunities to every recognised medical system to develop and be practised, with a view to provide integrated and holistic healthcare," he said.

"We are open to patronising best practices and proven standards for the benefit of the people. That is why naturopathy is also a recognised system in India," he said.

State governments like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have recognised naturopathy.

Azad said India had incorporated traditional medical services in the public health delivery system since the 1960s. - IANS