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Health policy

A healthy society had long been a preoccupation of Mr. Bandaranaike’s philosophy of life. The classical ideal of a healthy mind and a healthy body so prized by the ancient Greeks had found resonance in the age - old wisdom of his own land, as he had said on many occasions. Health and local government had been his portfolio in his time as a Minister, in the pre-independence State Council days. As Prime Minister he set about reforming health policy in accordance with his wide experience and the holistic thinking that endowed all his work.

While streamlining the cumbersome health administration and seeking a balance in the curative and preventive branches on the one hand, he set about bringing the Western and Eastern systems of medicine, both of which were resonant at the time, together, as far as possible. The indigenous system, accessible and affordable to the poor, needed re-vitalization. With the establishment of ayurvedic research centres and recognition of the status of the native physician, he strengthened and rescued this body of indigenous knowledge from stagnancy and final extinction.