The Minister said the Mahinda Rajapaksa government gave all assistance to uplift the living conditions of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha practitioners who were badly neglected by the successive governments except by the 1956 and 1970 Bandaranaike governments.
There was a trend in the part for the offspring of some traditional families who practised Ayurveda or Astrology to venture into new fields by betraying the family tradition.
Under the guidance of President Rajapaksa a "Hela Vedagedera" programme was implemented islandwide to meet that crisis.
Funds were allocated to setup ten rooms at mini indigenous hospitals attaches to the homes of traditional physicians under the "Hela Vedegedera" programme.
The physicians children were encouraged to continue the family tradition at the newly setup "Hele Vedagedera". Fifty-three such mini hospitals were setup during the last four years, he said.
The Minister said that on a new concept most of the raw materials of Ayurveda medicines - mainly herbs are being cultivated in the country.
There is a big demand for herbs in Sri Lanka for the manufacture of Ayurvedic medicine such as Arista, Kalka, Churna and Paspanguwa for which the demand is on the increase.
The Minister of Indigenous Medicine had given all the assistance for herbal cultivators. There are herbal cultivation projects in North Central and Southern Province managed by the Ayurvedic herbal cultivation organisation, the Minister said.
Sri Lanka has to cultivate raw materials for the manufacture of Ayurvedic drugs since India banned the export of medicinal herbs a few years ago, he said.
Referring to University education for indigenous medicine the Minister said that two universities namely Gampaha Wickramaarachchi Institute and Rajagiriya Indigenous Medicine Institute were upgraded as universities under University Grants Commission by the government. The long-standing Diploma and Degree annually for the undergraduates was solved.
Seven hundred graduates will be appointed to government Ayurvedic hospitals next year, he said. For the first time a three year nurses training programme was introduced so that only the trained nurses could be appointed to Ayurvedic hospitals, he said.The Minister said that there is an Ayurvedic hospital network run by the provincial councils islandwide. Full-fledged Ayurvedic hospitals namely Rajagiriya, Navinna, Jaffna and Ampara come under the central government.
Ayurvedic medicine supplied by the Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation are manufactured under strict quality control methods, he said.