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G20 Declaration Spotlights on India's Health Priorities & Digital Health Initiatives

Written by : Jayati Dubey

September 12, 2023

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The declaration emphasised the enhancement of primary healthcare, the healthcare workforce, and essential health services to levels surpassing those observed before the pandemic, with the ideal target of achieving this within two to three years.

India's G20 Presidency has put a spotlight on three crucial health priorities: strengthening primary healthcare, health workforce, and essential health services.'

In the G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration, released recently, these priorities were recognised as key areas to focus on, with the goal of surpassing pre-pandemic levels within the next two to three years.'¯

Building Resilient Systems for Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

One of India's health priorities during its G20 Presidency is to construct resilient systems for health emergency prevention, preparedness, and response. This includes developing strategies and mechanisms to deal with future pandemics and health crises effectively.'¯

By strengthening the capacity of healthcare systems and ensuring robust emergency response mechanisms, countries can be better equipped to handle and mitigate the impact of health emergencies.

Strengthening Cooperation in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Next priority includes enhancing cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector, focusing on ensuring equitable availability and access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics during pandemics.'¯

With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the importance of global collaboration in combating infectious diseases, India aims to foster partnerships to address the gaps in healthcare access and distribution.'¯

By promoting fair and equal access to essential medical supplies, countries can work together to ensure no one is left behind in times of crisis.

Creating a Platform for Digital Health Innovations and Solutions

India's third priority is establishing a platform for sharing digital health innovations and solutions to ensure better and universal health coverage. This includes initiatives such as CoWIN and e-Sanjeevani, which have been instrumental in leveraging technology to improve healthcare accessibility and delivery.'¯

The aim is to create a repository of scalable digital health platforms that can be utilised by member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and contribute to global health efforts.

The proposed Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) serves as a comprehensive framework with four key pillars.'¯

Countries can avoid duplicating efforts by sharing successful digital health innovations and scaling up impactful solutions.

Digital Health Initiatives as Public Goods

India's G20 Presidency has also emphasised the importance of sharing digital health innovations as public goods. The CoWIN vaccine management platform, e-Sanjeevani telemedicine platform, and Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) platform are among the initiatives India has committed to offering as digital public goods to other countries.'¯

By sharing these platforms, India aims to address the issue of fragmented efforts and enable countries to benefit from proven solutions without duplicating resources.

These pillars include an investment tracker to monitor funding for digital health solutions, a repository of existing digital health platforms, knowledge sharing for implementation and country-specific adaptation of these solutions, and an ask tracker to identify the specific needs of different countries.'¯


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