Taking healthcare to the masses will be India's biggest challenge in the next two decades, and the ancient medicinal system of ayurveda is the only reliable way of doing so, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the PM, said.
"We can't adopt the western model - the five-star culture of health delivery system. Health care has to reach the masses," Pitroda, chairman of the National Innovation Council, said at the inauguration of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) on Thursday.
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata inaugurated the 100-bed healthcare centre that aims to integrate traditional medicine with modern health science. The centre is wholly supported by Tata Trusts (Mumbai), the group's philanthropic arm.
Pitroda, who is also the co-founder and chairman of the Centre's precursor Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, said the integration of modern medicine and traditional health sciences was the best way to deal with challenges that lie ahead.
Darshan Shankar, who along with Pitroda had floated the foundation 17 years ago, said the healthcare centre aspires to be a modern Nalanda University for traditional health sciences.
The Nalanda University, one of the world's oldest centres of learning, had a highly regarded centre for medicine.
"I-AIM already has research centres in several disciplines including conservation of medicinal plants, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and pharmaceutics, community health, clinical medicine, botany, medical manuscripts. It plans to establish a museum on the contemporary history of India's medical heritage," Shankar said.