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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

When British MP asked PM Boris Johnson about AYUSH ministry

Formed in November 2014, the AYUSH ministry headed by minister of state Shripad Yesso Naik focuses on alternative medicines such as ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2019 22:18 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
As Johnson put on a combative performance at the dispatch box, Tredinnick, 69, asked him if he would ensure that his new health secretary Matt Hancock interacts with the AYUSH ministry in New Delhi
As Johnson put on a combative performance at the dispatch box, Tredinnick, 69, asked him if he would ensure that his new health secretary Matt Hancock interacts with the AYUSH ministry in New Delhi(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
         

A British MP, who has been a long-time campaigner for ayurveda, astrology and complementary medicine, used Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first day in the House of Commons on Thursday to ask him about linking up with India’s AYUSH ministry.

Formed in November 2014, the AYUSH ministry headed by minister of state Shripad Yesso Naik focuses on alternative medicines such as ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy.

David Tredinnick, Conservative MP from Bosworth in Leicestershire, has often invited ridicule inside and outside parliament for his views, but he insists astrology should be used in medical practice, besides alternative medicine such as ayurveda, homeopathy and chiropractic.

As Johnson put on a combative performance at the dispatch box, Tredinnick, 69, asked him if he would ensure that his new health secretary Matt Hancock interacts with the AYUSH ministry in New Delhi and possibly use its insights to solve Britain’s health issues.

He asked Johnson: “I congratulate the Prime Minister on a brilliant start, and particularly his support of the health service”.

“Is he aware that his counterpart in India, Prime Minister Modi, has oversight of two health Ministries: the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of AYUSH, which is for traditional and complementary medicine and has 7,000 hospitals? Will he ensure that the Health Secretary is in contact with AYUSH?”

Also read | Astrology a cure for UK’s health crisis: Conservative party MP

Aware of the MP’s affinity for astrology and alternative medicine, Johnson responded: “I thank my hon. Friend and congratulate him on the heroic campaign he has waged to promote alternative medicines and therapies of all kinds”.

“I feel sure that it would be to the benefit of my right hon. Friend the Health Secretary, who is not in his place—he has gone off to solve social care. I think it very important that we have an open mind about Ayurvedic medicine and other such therapies, but we should approach it on the basis of science first”.

Tredinnick, who has been to India to study the ‘Lahiri’ system of astrology, has been in the news for recommending that astrology be used in the National Health Service. According to him, astrology has a ‘proven track record’ and those who oppose astrology are ‘racially prejudiced’.

“I have been to India and talked to people there and to the Indian Government about the Indian astrological system, Lahiri, which is part of their culture”, he has said.

First Published: Jul 26, 2019 22:14 IST

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