The Ayurveda system of medicine, despite its efficacy, is not being properly utilised by the health sector, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

Inaugurating the Government Ayurveda College Panchakarma Research and Development Centre at Poojappura on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said the past four-and-a-half years had seen much progress and development in the State's public health sector.

He said Kerala had won international recognition for its Ayurveda system of treatment, especially Panchakarma. The State had immense potential for growth in the marketing of Ayurveda medicines. The Union Health Ministry's financial assistance was required for developing the Ayurveda treatment facilities in the State and for the manufacturing and marketing of Ayurveda drugs.

‘Equal importance'

The Chief Minister said the State government's health policy gave equal importance to all systems of medicine and they had been given equal importance in the Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences.

The government also intended to give priority to developing Ayurveda studies. A separate drugs control division had been set up for Ayurveda and the State government had also passed legislations to check the mushrooming of massage parlours, several of which were flourishing under the guise of Ayurveda treatment centres, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

Ensuring quality

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, who presided over the function, said that it was imperative that the quality and standard of the Ayurveda system of medicine was preserved. He added that the Centre would take the necessary steps to ensure that Ayurveda as well as the system of modern medicine were given equal importance and were complementary to each other.

Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy presented the review report of the Panchakarma Research and Development Centre. The new OP block was inaugurated by Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy delivered the keynote address.