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UK-India healthcare collaboration fighting pandemics together and investing in the future

On the 16th June 2020, the Institute of Director’s South Asia Group presented a webinar titled ‘UK-India Healthcare collaboration: Fighting Pandemics Together and Investing in the Future’, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Indian Partnership Forum (IPF).

The webinar had a panel of esteemed healthcare industry leaders from both the UK and India, to discuss the most pertinent topics affecting the healthcare industry and the UK-India collaboration in the healthcare sector.

The webinar was moderated by David Stringer-Lamarre, Chair IoD London Region; had opening addresses by two keynote speakers

  • Dr Sangita Reddy, President FICCI and MD Apollo Hospitals Group
  • Harjinder Kang, Director and Head of Healthcare, Department of International Trade

and a panel comprised of

  • Howard Lyons CBE, Former Managing Director of Healthcare UK, Chair of Indo-UK Institute of Health Board Director ICMDA
  • Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Asst. Secretary General, FICCI
  • Prof Ged Byrne MBE, Surgical Oncologist and Director of Global Engagement at Health Education England
  • Dr Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director, Wockhardt Ltd.

The keynote speakers were introduced by Dr Mohan Kaul, President of IPF. Dr Sangita Reddy presented the India perspective and Harjinder Kang presented the UK perspective on Healthcare industry.

On behalf of South Asia Group, we were delighted to partner with FICCI and IPF to deliver eminent industry leaders and policy makers from both countries. With over 150 delegates in attendance and 200 registrations, the webinar was enthusiastically received by an international audience interested in UK-India collaboration as well as healthcare professionals.

These are the key points discussed during the webinar

Current landscape

  • Healthcare now enjoys a central relationship in the UK-India bilateral relations and has been identified as the priority area between the two countries
  • The intent of the partnership was aimed at improving healthcare and finding methodologies impacting each other such as training and development, medical research, setting up state-of-the-art facilities, innovation and artificial intelligence (AI)
  • There is a JETCO between Ministry of Commerce India, Department of international trade, UK supported by FICCI and UKIBC set up to discuss strengthening of the healthcare infrastructure.

UK-India Healthcare Collaboration

  • To fight pandemics together, UK and India could collaborate through vaccine taskforce, validation of vaccine, drug development, provide drugs such as India providing paracetamol and other ICU drugs to the UK as well as PPE discussions
  • Future collaborations include primary healthcare, digital capabilities such as online/tele consultations, training programmes for medical staff and students
  • Undergraduate and post graduate education through dual investment from both the countries. There has been removal of barriers in the joint accreditation of the medicine education programmes
  • Bilateral research and innovation especially in pharmacy, pharmaceutical research, vaccines, antimicrobial resistance
  • High quality and cost-effective medicines though strong supply chain
  • Teleconsultation and telemedicine with the help of scientific advancements in the UK and clinical evidence in India.

Recommendations for future collaborations

  • Alignment of standards and regulations, including some of the highly regulated areas such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals
  • UK and India should have a mutual recognition agreement for conformity to reduce overall costs and turnaround time for obtaining approvals thereby making companies more competitive in a wider market
  • Implement a strong harmonised IP regime with tighter legislation, proper enforcement, and speedy resolution across all industry sectors
  • Support innovation in healthcare to ensure affordable and effective solutions are found.

The feedback has been hugely positive and we would like to invite you for any suggestions on this topic.

Neha Rawtal
Chair, South Asia Group
IoD City

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