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WHO chief hails India’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme, calls it ‘world’s largest health assurance scheme’


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) praised India’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme for advancing health coverage and schemes while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the ongoing G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

At the beginning of his address, Dr Tedros thanked India for its gracious hospitality and visionary leadership in hosting the G20 Summit. “I commend India for their steps in advancing Universal Health Coverage and the Ayushman Bharat scheme which is the world ‘s largest health assurance initiative,” the WHO chief said.

He also recalled his visit to a Health and Wellness Centre and lauded the services being provided there. “I visited a Health and Wellness Centre here in Gandhinagar and was impressed by the primary healthcare services being provided to 1000 households by the HWC,” he added.

He also hailed the telemedicine facilities provided in Gujarat and thanked India’s G20 Presidency for the Global Digital Health Initiative to be launched on Saturday. “I commend the telemedicine services being provided here, which provide prescriptions and treatment locally. It is an excellent example of transforming healthcare. I also thank India G20 Presidency for taking leadership in the Global Digital Health Initiative which will be launched tomorrow,” Dr Tedros said.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that there will be more than 70 delegates from different countries at the G20 Health Minister’s meeting and the side event in Gandhinagar which will culminate on the 19th of August. “We are showing India’s Health model to the people and they are appreciating it. The Modi government has seen the health sector with a holistic approach,” Mansukh Mandaviya said.

The focus of the G20 Health Minister’s Meeting will be on the three key priorities of the G20 Health Track, including health emergencies prevention, preparedness and response with a focus on anti-microbial resistance and One Health framework. It will also focus on strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector with a focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures (Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics) along with Digital Health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and improve healthcare service delivery.

India assumed the presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2022, and is currently part of the G20 Troika comprising Indonesia, India and Brazil. India’s G20 Presidency marked the first time that the troika is consisting of three developing and emerging economies.

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