There is a special focus on the sector of indigenous medicine at present and it seems that many difficult-to-treat diseases can be cured through indigenous medicine, side effects are minimized and costs are relatively low.
In view of the prevailing Covid-19 epidemic situation, the remedies carried out with the help of local medicine were very successful and it also received recognition. The immunity of the people increased through the introduction of immunization drugs like “Suwa Dharani” and the Ayurvedic hospital system ensured that patients did not die or develop complications.
Traditional indigenous medicine as well as Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine are making a great contribution to primary health care and disease prevention in this country. Also, homeopathic medicine, as an alternative medicine, has been accepted among the people.
However, further research and innovation in the field are very necessary for advancement of this field and further investment should be made for the purpose.
It is possible to provide sustainable solutions to the nutritional needs and foreign exchange issues of the country through sector of indigenous medicine and the indigenous medicine sector of the Ministry is already working towards it.
It is necessary to popularize non-toxic nutritious local food and drink among people and to raise public awareness adequately in this regard. Most of the raw materials required for the production of local medicines are imported, and for that, foreign exchange of about 300 – 350 million rupees is drawn abroad annually. Therefore, all the medicines that can be grown in this country are being systematically cultivated inland to save foreign exchange as well as to create new jobs.
Also, initial arrangements have already been made to increase employment in this sector by promoting health-tourism targeting foreigners and to earn more foreign exchange by promoting the system of indigenous medicine abroad.
Arrangements are already in progress to formulate new legislation required for exportation of these medicines by removing corporate and legal constraints in exportation of indigenous medicine.
Indigenous medicine must progress further hand-in-hand with state-of-the-art technology and this will enable the mission of providing health relief to the entire nation in future.
Good health for all through indigenous medicine.
To provide good health for the entire general public by the use of research and modern technology by preserving Sri Lankan identity to promote human potentials enabling investment of their contribution to achieve national economic and sustainable development goals.
Duties and functions
Formulation, implementation, follow up and evaluation of policies, programs and projects pertaining to promotion of indigenous medicine.
- To take steps to preserve and improve traditional medicine.
- To implement development and regulation of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy medicine.
- Production of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy medicine.
- Importation, sale and distribution of raw and manufactured medicine required for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy medicine.
- Establishment and management of hospitals, research and training institutes and drugs sales outlets to improve indigenous medicine including Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani medicine.
- Regulation of importing herbal plants, processed Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine.
- Regulating Ayurvedic drugs manufacturers.
- Coordination with relevant stakeholders to implement projects such as promotion of herbal plant cultivation and improvement of local medicines.
- Registration of Ayurvedic manufacturers, Ayurvedic medical practitioners and Ayurvedic supplementary medical services.
- Setting up, operation and promotion of Ayurvedic hospitals, Ayurvedic research institutes, training institutes and pharmacies.
- Implementation of a program prioritizing local traditional and Ayurvedic treatments under coordination and regulation of the Tourist Board to treat tourists.
- Encouraging research in medicine and treatments of indigenous medicine.
- Administration and personnel management in indigenous medical service.