The G20 Health Ministers' three-day meeting in Gandhinagar, Gujarat concluded on August 19, 2023.
Notable figures such as Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the event.
The meeting aimed to build upon global digital health advancements, enhance accountability, and maximise the impact of future healthcare investments.
Three key areas were focused on during the meeting:
Combating antibiotic resistance, creating health emergency prevention frameworks, and bolstering health services and preparedness.
Strengthening collaboration in the pharmaceutical sector and digital health innovation was also highlighted.
A session specifically addressing India's G20 health priorities took place on the second day.
The concluding day featured the inaugural joint finance and health ministerial meeting, presided over by India. Union Health Minister Dr. Mandaviya emphasised the necessity of global cooperation to ensure equitable access to medical measures, particularly for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
India's G20 Presidency underscored the importance of collaboration with other forums, including the G7 and WHO, to establish a global medical counter-measures coordination mechanism.
Report titled Digital-in-Health: Unlocking the Value for Everyone:
The World Bank's report titled 'Digital-in-Health: Unlocking the Value for Everyone' was unveiled during the conference's second session.
This report advocated for a holistic integration of digital technology into healthcare systems, encompassing areas such as health financing, diagnostics, education, pandemic preparedness, climate and health efforts, nutrition, and ageing.
Finance and Health Joint Task Force (JFHTF):
The Finance and Health Joint Task Force (JFHTF) convened its first ministerial conference, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya.
During discussions, they called for a Global Health Framework for Epidemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPR), emphasising cooperation between finance and health ministries.
Dr. Mandaviya announced the first call for proposals from the Pandemic Fund, with over 75% of supported projects focused on LIC/LMIC nations.
Multi-Year Action Plan:
A collaborative approach between the WHO, World Bank, G20, G7, and other stakeholders was advocated to address these challenges.
The multi-year action plan under India's G20 Presidency was introduced, aimed at addressing the needs of low-income countries.
Key points from the Joint Task Force's ideas included the creation of the Framework for Economic Vulnerability and Risk (FEVR), mapping pandemic response financing options and gaps, and best practices on financial health institutional arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic.