Pursuing global health equity is a collective responsibility for humanity. India, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, has elevated the nation’s health contribution, and is playing a pivotal role in leading the G20 in shaping health agendas.
G20, under India’s presidency, announced the creation of the Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH), which will be a WHO-managed institution, and will accelerate the adoption and usage of digital health solutions globally to promote universal health coverage and sustainable development goals (SDG).
At the G20, India fixated on adopting the one health approach for confronting zoonoses, vector-borne diseases, and antimicrobial resistance through global collaborative actions. This paved the way for WHO, WOAH, FAO, and UNEP collaboration to endorse the One Health Joint Plan of Action 2022–2026 by the WHO.
India spearheaded the launch of an interim global medical countermeasures coordination mechanism to improve the availability and access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines during health emergencies.
Under India’s presidency, battling the issue of antimicrobial resistance was a critical G20 priority. India supports the development of new antimicrobials and commits to ensuring sustained supply and access.
Climate change is a critical health driver. India has reiterated the need to create climate-resilient and sustainable health systems, like the WHO-led Alliance on Climate and Health.
As a key G20 member, India has always played a critical role in shaping global healthcare agendas. India has proactively supported various international health projects during its G20 membership.
- India has collaborated with the G20 Global Health Innovation Program to share knowledge and resources among countries to address global health challenges and contribute to setting global health agendas.
- India has pledged ₹62,000 crore (USD 8.7 billion) toward funding Covid-19 research, diagnostics, and vaccine development.
- India has played a crucial role in reshaping global pandemic response strategies during G20 discussions, in line with India’s prompt response to the Covid-19 crisis, including the rapid development of diagnostic kits that helped set global standards for establishing effective pandemic response systems.
- Modi’s leadership has facilitated the exchange of innovative ideas in healthcare among G20 countries. Through these international collaborations, India has contributed to global healthcare initiatives, such as the WHO’s Global Strategy & Action Plan on Public Health, Innovation, and IP, and the G20 Innovation Hub.
- India has focused on ensuring the affordability of essential drugs during the G20 Summit, both nationally and globally. The country’s push for affordable medications has also led it to become the world’s leading producer of generic medicines, providing low-cost drugs to global markets.
- Mental health awareness has gained international attention, with India playing an influential role during the G20 Summit. This emphasis has resulted in the development of the National Mental Health Policy in India.
- G20 Summit interactions have facilitated collaborations between India and other member countries. For example, India has partnered with Canada to establish the India-Canada Center for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability, focusing on shared research interests, including healthcare.
- Learnings from G20 interactions and collaborations over the years have also led to India adopting and embracing various ideas for the betterment of the Indian population.
- India has actively pushed for universal health coverage in the G20 Summit. With schemes like Ayushman Bharat, India has initiated ambitious programs to provide health coverage to over 500 million Indians.
- India initiated cooperation among member countries to promote digital health technologies. This has led to the introduction of several telemedicine and e-health initiatives like the Integrated Health Information Platform, National Digital Health Mission, and e-Sanjeevani, transforming India’s healthcare landscape.
- The G20 Summit emphasizes the importance of strengthening the healthcare workforce. India has established programs like the Skill Development Initiative, offering courses in various healthcare specializations and equipping professionals to cater to rural and semi-urban areas.
- One significant discussion involves improving primary healthcare infrastructure. India has established over 150,000 health and wellness centers offering comprehensive primary healthcare services, including medicines, diagnostics, and teleconsultation services.
- The G20 Summit lays emphasis on the importance of gender-specific healthcare policies. India has implemented programs like Janani Suraksha Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, and the National Health Mission to support women’s and girls’ healthcare needs.
- India has focused on addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during the G20 Summit catalyzing targeted interventions within the country.
- India has catalyzed development of policies that combat tobacco-related diseases and deaths effectively.
- India has contributed to the increased access to healthcare in rural and remote areas of the country through the National Health Mission, with an allocated budget of ₹34,115 crore in 2021-22.
The Indian MedTech Industry has also gained substantially due to India’s participation and leadership at the G20.
- The industry is valued at around ₹81,900 crore (USD 11 billion) and is expected to reach ₹370,000 crore (USD 50 billion) by 2025.
- India’s IVD industry is currently valued at ₹7400 crore (USD 1 billion), and growing at 13 percent annually.
- India’s involvement in the G20 Summit has encouraged domestic MedTech to enhance its infrastructure. Programs like the Make in India showcase Indian MedTech’s potential, driving global investors interest and fostering international collaborations. The government has allocated ₹1630 crore (USD 219 million) in subsidies under the PLI scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing.
- India’s participation has opened the doors for partnerships with other countries in MedTech innovation. For example, India and Israel established the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund in 2017, with a budget of ₹300 crore (USD 40 million).
India’s contributions and engagement under Narendra Modi’s leadership have significantly impacted the global health scenario and the Indian healthcare system highlight India’s commitment to improving global healthcare.