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Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar,  addressing the first G20 Health Working Group meeting under India’s G-20 at Thiruananthapuram, Kerala

Pandemic Policy must be a defining part of our Health Policy: Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar,  said that pandemic policy must be a defining part of health policies as any health crisis today leads to an economic crisis due to the multisectoral nature of the inter-connected world.

Addressing the first G20 Health Working Group meeting under India’s G-20 Presidency at Thiruvananthapuram on January 18, 2023, Dr Pawar said, “The learnings (of COVID19 pandemic) must form the agenda for our preparedness and response together. We need to diversify our capabilities and ensure that collectively, we preserve ourselves in the face of any health crisis.”

Dr Pawar noted that pandemic prevention, preparedness and response require diverse multi-sectoral, multi-agency coordinated efforts.

She emphasised on the need for strengthening and empowering communities to become resilient to future health emergencies, underscoring the importance of building resilient health systems and investing in lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

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Highlighting India’s strong culture of medical practices and innovation, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, S V Muraleedharan, noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 'One Earth, One Family, One Future' is a pro-planet approach, one that is in harmony with nature for an increasingly globalised world.

Emphasising that countries need to align their agenda for preparedness and response together to be able to meet any health emergencies effectively, he added, “We should be prepared to collectively meet any health challenges in the future.”

Speaking at the meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan highlighted India’s aim to achieve convergence in discussions across various multilateral fora engaged in health cooperation as chair of the G20 Presidency.

He reiterated three priorities for the G20 Health Track, including health emergencies prevention, preparedness and response (with a focus on One Health & AMR); strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector with a focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures and digital health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and improve healthcare service delivery.

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