Union Minister Shripad Yesso Naik on Wednesday asked all states to give equal weightage to AYUSH health services and modern drugs and promote rational use of traditional medicines.

Referring to an agreement between India and the WHO for cooperation in promoting traditional medicines, he asked the states to consider the World Health Organisation advisory on priority basis for capacity building and spreading awareness among people about advantages of traditional medicines.

Addressing a meeting with state AYUSH/health ministers and secretaries, the Union MoS (Independent Charge) for AYUSH said, “I appeal to all state governments to consider the WHO advisory on priority basis. This would involve giving equal weightage to AYUSH health services and modern medicine.”

“It is also necessary to effectively integrate AYUSH systems into National Health Care Delivery to achieve a balance between the conventional and the traditional practices. This cannot be achieved unless legal provisions are made by the states,” he said.

Naik asked the states to make necessary amendments in their respective Acts dealing with this issue so that AYUSH healthcare systems can be used in case of medical emergencies.

“It is heartening that some of states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have made such amendments in their State Medical Practitioner Acts. I would request all the other state governments do the same,” he said.

About misleading advertisements of AYUSH drugs, Naik said his ministry has signed an MoU with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to curtail those.

The ASCI will comprehensively monitor advertisements regarding Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy drugs and treatments across print and electronic media, the Union Minister said.

Informing that the Centre is keen on promoting medical tourism which would include traditional medication, Naik asked the state health ministers to direct the AYUSH authorities in the state to make efforts to get the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers(NABH) accreditation for as many AYUSH hospitals as possible.

“The Ministry of AYUSH with the cooperation of Quality Council of India has evolved the NABH standards for AYUSH hospitals,” he said.