The Hague: There is an immense scope for cooperation in medical tourism between India and the Netherlands, Union Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik said on Tuesday.
The healthcare system in the Netherlands is one of the best in Europe, and there is a lot of potential to integrate traditional knowledge from India, he said at a seminar titled 'India-Netherlands collaboration in Healthcare, including Ayurveda' at Leiden.
Ayush refers to traditional and non-allopathic medical systems in India. It includes ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy.
"India is the world's largest producer of generic medicine and there is wide scope for medical value travel to India, both in conventional and alternative medical treatments such as Ayurveda," Naik said at the seminar organised by the Indian Embassy here.
Emphasising that the scope for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries is immense, he said, "India and the Netherlands can work together closely to promote healthy living."
Asserting that both the countries have top class medical practitioners, Naik said the Netherlands with its 2.25 lakh Indian origin population can lead the way in promoting Indian traditional medicine across Europe.
Addressing the seminar, Dutch minister for Medical Care and Sport Bruno Bruins said Ayurveda's approach for healthcare differs for individuals and being healthy does not only mean being free from illness but also being independent, functional and participating in society.
"Cooperation between India and the Netherlands in healthcare can become stronger with both countries working together to deal with the issue of antibiotic resistance," he added.
Alojz Peterle, former Prime Minister of Slovenia and current member of European Parliament, said Ayurveda is considered as the mother of modern medicine.
He further said Indo-European strategic cooperation should also include healthcare.
The Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, pointed out that the biggest health challenge the Netherlands faces is high costs and the need for care for an ageing population.
"Ayurveda and Yoga can help reduce costs and promote healthy ageing," Rajamony said.
The seminar was the concluding event of the 4th International Ayurveda Congress organised by the Indian Embassy in the Netherlands in collaboration with International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation, Netherlands, All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi and the International Academy of Ayurveda, Pune.
Naik is on an official four-day visit to the Netherlands from September 1. He is leading a delegation of senior officials from Ministry of Ayush, including the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy.
The minister will meetthe Deputy Mayor of the City of The Hague in charge of healthcare, witness a yoga demonstration by Dutch yoga enthusiasts and visit the Samadhi Sthal of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Vlodrop tomorrow.