Pandemic policy must be a defining part of health policy: India at G20 Health Working Group meeting
Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic, India said
Pandemic policy must be a defining part of health policy and the focus should be on building resilient health systems, India said at the 1st Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency on Wednesday.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar pointed out that any health crisis today leads to an economic crisis due to the multisectoral nature of our inter-connected world.
"Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic. The learnings must form the agenda for our preparedness and response together. We need to diversify our capabilities and ensure that collectively, we preserve ourselves in the face of any health crisis," she said.
Pawar underscored the importance of building resilient health systems and investing in lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
She noted that pandemic prevention, preparedness and response require diverse multi-sectoral, multi-agency coordinate efforts. She emphasized on the need for strengthening and empowering communities to become resilient to future health emergencies.
Speaking at the meeting, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan emphasized India's strong culture of medical innovation and practices. He pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallying cry of "One Earth, One Family, One Future" is a pro-planet strategy that is in tune with nature for a more interconnected world.
Additionally, he underlined to the delegates the "need for alignment of our agenda for readiness and response together to be able to successfully face any health crisis." He said that any health issues that may arise in the future should be met by all of us.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan emphasized during the event that India's goal was to promote convergence in talks across multiple global fora involved in health cooperation.
He reaffirmed the three top priorities for the G20 Health Track, which are:
Health Emergencies Prevention, Preparedness and Response (with focus on One Health & AMR);
Strengthening Cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector with focus on Access and Availability to safe, effective, quality and Affordable Medical Countermeasures (Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics)
Digital Health Innovations and Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage and Improve Healthcare Service Delivery.
Later, the Brazilian and Indonesian members of the G20Troika (previous and next presidencies) praised and thanked the Indian Presidency for establishing the three health priorities. They said that the pandemic had provided a chance to improve their healthcare systems and that they now needed to move more quickly to achieve universal health coverage.