New Delhi: Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare India, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Secretary of State for Health, UK, Jeremy Richard Hunt signed an MOU on cooperation in the field of health sector last evening at Geneva between the Government of India and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Describing the agreement as a historic event and a great milestone, Azad noted with optimism that this agreement is going to usher in a new era of cooperation in the health sector between the two countries.
Azad stated that the agreement between India and UK will promote wide-ranging cooperation in the health sector between the two countries and spur the exchange of information and expertise for the common good of people.
The areas identified for cooperation in the MOU include:
i) Promoting exchange on healthcare policy in India and the UK;
ii) Human resources for Health;
iii) Regulatory issues;
iv) Health technology development:
v) Primary healthcare;
vi) Strengthening of public infrastructure and capacity;
vii) Health security, including cooperation on infectious diseases, emerging infections and drug resistance.
It is worthwhile to mention that India is a strategic partner to the UK and has been a recipient of UK’s bilateral assistance in the form of grants since 1975. The aid agency of the UK is Department for International Development (DFID). The priority for the DFID (UK)- Government of India partnership has been improvement of maternal & child health and reducing the burden of communicable diseases.
Azad also noted with satisfaction that Department of Health Research, GOI and National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), UK are in the process of signing an agreement for collaboration in areas relating to medical and health technology assessment.
Recalling the historic relations that the two countries share, Azad noted that the signing of this agreement demonstrates the commitment of both the countries to work closely with each other to further cement their strong relations.