G20 presidency’s Health Working Group meeting at Thiruvananthapuram

Jan 21: The G20 member countries held a constructive discussion during India G20 presidency’s first Health Working Group meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. One of the highlights of three day meeting was a side event on Medical Value Travel. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush delivered the keynote address during a panel discussion on Achieving Holistic Wellbeing through Integrated Healthcare. Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog and Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan were also present along with delegates of G20 countries.  

On this occasion, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush said, “We have witnessed a paradigm shift in health-seeking behaviour of patients after Covid towards Holistic Health and wellbeing. The dream of a New Healthy Self-Reliant Health System is only possible when high-quality, affordable and accessible health services are being provided to all equitably. Increasing service accessibility to various health care systems leveraged with evidence, accreditations, and latest medical technologies.” 

‘One World, One Health’ resonance with the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, meaning the whole world is considered as a whole family where everybody is equal. Equitable access to affordable and quality healthcare without financial hardships to the patient would be one important outcome. He stressed that connecting the globe through medical value travel based on integrated healthcare will serve to address the disparities in existing healthcare systems.

Talking about Universal Health Coverage Secretary, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said integrative healthcare based on evidence-based traditional medicine practices and the modern system would be helpful in achieving Universal Health Coverage through quality; efficiency; equity; accountability, sustainability, and resilience. These attributes of Universal Health Coverage also function as the core principles to guide the decision-makers in designing comprehensive integrative health Care.

During the three-day G20 India’s first Health Working Group meeting delegates discussed health priorities like Health emergencies prevention and preparedness, strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector and digital health innovation & solutions. The delegates also participated in a morning yoga session held on day 2 and visited the Somatheeram Ayurveda Village at Kovalam, Kerala to understand the holistic healthcare service delivery system.

Representatives from the G20 member countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, The United Kingdom, United States of America and European Union attended the event. Special invitee countries included Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, the Sultanate of Oman, The Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates participated.

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