NEW DELHI: Tracking health emergencies, preparedness and response, strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector and digital health innovation and solutions are the three priorities under health for India in the year-long G20 presidency, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
India’s successful management of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lessons learnt will also be a part of its presentations to the G20 health-working groups (HWGs). India will also showcase a slew of its successful health programmes and initiatives, including Ayushman Bharat and Jan Ausadhi, a programme to make generic drugs more accessible and digital health innovations, during the presidency.
“Prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies, including initiatives like One Health and tackling antimicrobial resistance, have been priorities since the initiation of the HWGs (health-working group) in G20.
They will continue to be so,” Mandaviya said. He said that the second priority would be cooperation between these countries in the pharmaceutical sector to ensure accessible, available and affordable medicines, vaccines and diagnostics. The third will be universal health coverage and improvement of health service delivery.
The Union minister said that India, as holding chair of the G20 presidency, aims to continue and consolidate health priorities and key takeaways from previous presidencies while highlighting critical areas that require strengthening.
Four meetings of the HWGs are slated over the next few months. The first meeting is in Thiruvananthapuram, which will take place between Jan 18-20, with a side event on medical value travel. The second meeting is in Goa, where the focus will be on digital health. This is scheduled for April 17 to 19. The third meeting is slated in Hyderabad between June 4-6.
It will also have a workshop on research to expand access to drugs, diagnostics and vaccines. The fourth meeting, which will be the meeting of G20 health ministers, will take place in Gandhinagar in Gujarat. This event will also have side events on the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine and Medical Value Travel.
Jan Ausadhi scheme
Jan Ausadhi, renamed the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Ausadhi Pariyojana, has the goal of making quality generic medicines available to all. There were 8,819 functional “jan ausadhi” stores selling 1,759 drugs and 280 surgical items till October 2022