A Blueprint for Inclusive Health Architecture: Insights from India’s G-20

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya. PHOTO: @mansukhmandaviya.in

As the spotlight shifts to New Delhi for the 18th G20 Summit, India’s pivotal role in laying the groundwork for a Universal Health Architecture that spans across continents comes to the forefront. A cornerstone in this endeavor was the resonating call made by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Health Ministerial Meeting in Gandhinagar, India emphasizing innovation, streamlined funding, and equitable technological access.

It’s heartening to witness the remarkable progress made by the international community, translating the collective wisdom gathered during and post-pandemic into action. True freedom thrives only when humanity’s well-being stands firm. Economic prosperity loses its luster in the face of unpreparedness against a rampaging virus. This underpins the discussions on health priorities during India’s G20 presidency.

Ministers, policymakers, and multilateral bodies have steadfastly backed India’s G20 health agenda, emphasizing universal health service accessibility and affordability. This process has fostered a consensus that global collaborative efforts are essential for preventing, preparing, and responding to health crises, with an equitable pandemic recovery.

Key global health actions encompass forging consensus on medical countermeasure platforms, reducing inequalities in vaccine and therapeutic access; launching a global digital health initiative to unite digital health endeavors worldwide; unraveling the intricate relationship between climate and health; and tapping into traditional medicine’s wisdom for future health.

Empowering Through Digital Health

Digital health emerges as a catalyst for universal healthcare. India’s experiences with platforms like Co-Win and e-Sanjeevani during the pandemic highlighted digital tools’ transformative potential in healthcare delivery. A national digital health ecosystem, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), empowers patients to manage and share medical records for optimal treatment.

While many nations embrace digital health, fragmentation remains a challenge. The WHO-led Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) under India’s G20 leadership addresses this challenge. This initiative will unite nations under a common digital health platform, promoting high-quality systems, privacy, and cross-country learning.

A Call for Medical Countermeasure Platform

Global vaccination disparities underscore the urgent need to address entrenched inequities. Within an interlinked world, a threat that impacts one entity endangers the collective whole. We must collectively design principles and a global framework for equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments. This platform should be inclusive, efficient, agile, and accountable, ensuring swift access to affordable medical solutions. The commitment to a WHO-led consultation through G20 establishes an interim mechanism for immediate implementation, preventing unpreparedness in future emergencies.

Resurrecting Traditional Medicine

Amidst the global surge of interest in integrated medicine, centered on holistic health and well-being, the G-20’s dedication to revitalizing the potency of traditional healing systems stands resolute. India’s WHO-Global Centre for Traditional Medicine serves as a testament to this commitment, echoing strongly with G-20 member nations who recognize and embrace the evidence-based role of traditional and complementary medicine in promoting health. In this pioneering role, the G-20 assumes the responsibility of rekindling ancient wisdom, unlocking the latent advantages of time-honored practices for the betterment of humanity through a global platform. Across the G-20 landscape, the persistent recognition of these evidence-supported contributions to holistic health remains a foundation of our collective efforts.

Elevating Climate and Health Priorities

Recognizing the intricate connections between climate and health, G20’s acknowledgment of these links paves the way for prioritized solutions. Commitment to low-carbon, resilient health systems align the health sector with broader sustainability goals. Tackling anti-microbial resistance through a one-health approach further exemplifies G20’s holistic health commitment.

In the words of an ancient verse, “Good health is the greatest fortune, serving as the foundation for overall prosperity,” G20’s journey beyond the pandemic emphasizes the essence of this saying. The call for action echoes loudly as G20 nations come together to reshape the global health landscape.


First appeared in Hindustan Times Aug. 29, 2023.



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