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India asks Commonwealth to share best practices in health care

India asked the Commonwealth nations to share its best practices in critical areas, including health financing and access to essential drugs, to augment health system capacity.

“The Commonwealth can make a contribution by way of sharing best practices in critical areas essential to augment the health system capacity,” Health Minister J P Nadda said.

“Some of these areas I would like to emphasize include health health-insurancefinancing, health services administration, appropriate use of available medical technology and access to essential drugs including a robust supply chain management,” he said.

Nadda was addressing the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting at the 68th World Health Assembly 2015, here on the theme “Universal health coverage – with an emphasis on ageing and good health”.

He also stressed the need for cooperation in medical education and training within the Commonwealth to enhance availability of scientifically talented professionals in the 53-member grouping.

Noting that the Commonwealth is home to 2.2 billion people, with over 60 per cent under the age of 30, Nadda said that investment in universal health coverage, including for aged population, should be considered as a smart investment for future.

“India is committed to achieve universal health coverage for all age groups. India has charted a path that depends largely on provision of affordable, quality health care through the public health system as its main form of social protection, with supplementation from the private sector to close gaps,” the health minister said.

“Our main challenge is to further expand health insurance mechanisms, as it currently covers only a small percentage of the population,” he said.

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