India’s G20 Presidency: Improving Global Health Governance for a More Secure and Equitable World

India’s G20 presidency is gathering traction, with an emphasis on leveraging shared responsibilities and collaborative governance to improve global pandemic preparedness. It aims to bridge the divide between the Global North and the Global South by recognising the inclusive memberships of the G20 and other global plurilateral groupings.

The significance of health as a worldwide public good

  • Interconnectedness: Diseases can swiftly spread across borders in today’s linked world, overcoming geographical barriers. Individuals’ and communities’ health in one region of the world can have a direct impact on others. As a result, dealing with health issues becomes a common obligation for all nations.
  • Impact on Global Stability: Health crises, such as pandemics, can have devastating social, economic, and political ramifications. They have the potential to destabilise economies, overburden healthcare systems, and provoke civil upheaval. We contribute to global stability, sustainable development, and peaceful coexistence by maintaining health as a global public benefit.
  • Humanitarian Priority: Health is a basic human right. Everyone has the right to quality healthcare and the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. Treating health as a global public good assures that everyone has equal access to healthcare, regardless of nationality or socioeconomic status.
  • Economic Productivity: Strong populations are necessary for economic productivity and growth. We can create conditions for individuals to prosper, contribute to their communities, and engage actively in economic activities by investing in health as a global public good.
  • Prevention and Preparedness: Treating health as a global public benefit necessitates taking proactive steps to prevent and prepare for health emergencies. We can better detect and respond to epidemics by investing in disease surveillance, research, and robust healthcare systems around the world, reducing their impact and saving lives.
  • Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Recognising health as a global public good promotes international cooperation. Countries can work together to improve public health outcomes, stimulate innovation, and discover answers to complex health concerns by exchanging knowledge, best practises, and resources.
  • Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Health is inextricably linked to multiple SDGs, including excellent health and well-being (SDG 3), poverty reduction (SDG 1), and gender equality (SDG 5). Treating health as a global public good helps to attain these interconnected aims, resulting in a more equal and sustainable world.

Response to Covid-19 in India: A whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach

  • Early Measures and statewide Lockdown: To combat the spread of the virus, India launched one of the world’s largest and harshest statewide lockdowns in March 2020. This choice was made to break the transmission chain and give time to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.
  • Testing and Surveillance: India significantly increased its testing capability, extending the country’s network of testing laboratories. To detect and track Covid-19 cases, the government used a variety of testing procedures, including fast antigen tests and RT-PCR tests.
  • Healthcare Infrastructure: To improve healthcare infrastructure, the government implemented a number of initiatives, including the establishment of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, an increase in the number of ICU beds, ventilators, and oxygen supplies, and the mobilisation of healthcare workers to locations experiencing case spikes.
  • Vaccine Development and Rollout: India was a key player in vaccine development, with several indigenous vaccine candidates getting regulatory approval. The country began a large-scale immunisation campaign, focusing on healthcare staff, frontline workers, and vulnerable communities. India also contributed to global vaccine supplies through the Vaccine Maitri project, which involved the export of vaccines.
  • Recognising the pandemic’s socioeconomic impact, the government implemented economic relief measures such as financial aid, direct benefit transfers, and welfare schemes to assist poor parts of society affected by lockdowns and job losses.
  • partnerships and International Aid: India has participated in international partnerships, sharing its experiences and expertise, and collaborating with other countries in areas such as research, drug repurposing, and information exchange. International aid was also provided to the country in the form of medical supplies and equipment.
  • Focus on Healthcare Infrastructure and Research: The government emphasised the importance of developing healthcare infrastructure, investing in research and development, and supporting indigenous medical equipment and supplies manufacture. Efforts were made to increase testing capacity, offer novel solutions, and promote therapeutic and diagnostic research.
  • Communication and Awareness: To distribute accurate information, encourage preventive measures, and battle disinformation about the virus, the government and health authorities prioritised public communication and awareness initiatives.

What will Universal Health Coverage (UHC) look like in 2030?

  • UHC 2030 is a global initiative and cooperation aimed at accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
  • UHC 2030 is a collaborative initiative led by governments, international organisations, civil society, and the private sector with the goal of ensuring that all individuals and communities have access to essential healthcare services without financial hardship.
  • UHC 2030 builds on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitment made by United Nations member states in 2015.

What are the obstacles to reaching UHC by 2030?

  • Financing: Adequate and long-term funding is critical for UHC. Many countries face restricted healthcare budgets, ineffective resource allocation, and insufficient public funding. It can be difficult to raise enough finances to pay the costs of increasing healthcare services and ensuring financial security for all citizens.
  • Health Workforce: UHC faces issues in terms of the availability, distribution, and quality of healthcare workers. Many countries face professional healthcare staff shortages, particularly in rural and remote locations. It is necessary to strengthen the health workforce, ensure equal distribution, and improve training and retention in order to provide quality healthcare services.
  • Health Infrastructure: Inadequate and insufficient healthcare infrastructure, including facilities, equipment, and technologies, might stymie UHC implementation. Many locations, particularly those in low-income countries, lack the healthcare infrastructure required to offer vital services to all people. Infrastructure development and strengthening investments are essential to increase access and provide excellent care.
  • Inequities and disadvantaged people: The United Health Care initiative seeks to address health disparities and reach disadvantaged and marginalised people. Socioeconomic gaps, gender inequities, and prejudice, on the other hand, might impede equitable access to healthcare services. To overcome these imbalances and guarantee that UHC benefits all individuals, regardless of their social or economic background, special attention is required.
  • Health Information Systems: Strong health information systems are required for effective UHC deployment. Many countries, however, encounter difficulties in data collection, management, and utilisation. It is critical to strengthen health information systems, particularly electronic health records and data analytics, in order to track progress, make informed decisions, and improve service delivery.
  • Political Will and government: UHC necessitates strong political commitment as well as efficient government. National political will is required to prioritise UHC, commit resources, and implement critical policy reforms. To combat corruption, promote fair service delivery, and retain public trust, it is critical to ensure openness, accountability, and efficient governance processes.
  • Changing Disease Patterns: As disease burdens evolve, especially the rise of noncommunicable diseases, UHC faces new challenges. Chronic diseases necessitate long-term management and specialised care, putting additional strain on healthcare systems. Adapting healthcare delivery paradigms and incorporating disease preventive and control measures are critical components of UHC.
  • Security of Global Health: As seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, public health emergencies and global health security threats can disrupt healthcare systems and impede progress towards UHC. To limit the impact of outbreaks and maintain the continuity of healthcare services, it is critical to strengthen health emergency preparedness and response capacities.

How India’s G20 presidency will play an important role in achieving UHC by 2030

  • Best Practises and Knowledge Sharing: As the G20 president, India can help member countries share expertise and best practises. This includes disseminating successful UHC models, new healthcare delivery approaches, and problem-solving strategies. Countries can learn from one other’s experiences and expedite progress towards UHC by encouraging knowledge sharing.
  • Advocating for UHC: As G20 president, India can use its platform to fight for UHC as a worldwide priority. India can emphasise the relevance of UHC in attaining sustainable development and equal healthcare access through diplomatic channels and international forums. This lobbying has the potential to persuade other G20 members to prioritise UHC and align their policies and actions accordingly.
  • Collaboration with Global Health Organisations: India’s G20 presidency can facilitate collaboration with global health organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, and others. By collaborating closely with these organisations, India may contribute to the creation and implementation of UHC-supporting strategies and initiatives, including as capacity building, technical assistance, and funding mechanisms.
  • Promoting Innovative Financing options: India can investigate and promote novel UHC financing options. Advocating for higher public investment in healthcare, developing public-private partnerships, and fostering the creation of social health insurance plans are all part of this. India can provide useful insights to other G20 countries on sustainable funding for UHC by finding and sharing successful financing solutions.
  • Strengthening basic Healthcare Systems: India’s G20 presidency might focus on basic healthcare systems, which are critical to UHC. This includes increasing access to high-quality primary care, resolving health worker shortages, strengthening infrastructure, and promoting preventive and preventive healthcare initiatives. Sharing India’s primary healthcare experiences and initiatives can inspire other countries to engage in this critical part of UHC.
  • Leveraging Digital Health Technologies: India has made great advancements in the use of digital health technologies, and its G20 presidency may showcase the potential of these technologies in improving UHC. India can expedite the adoption of digital solutions for healthcare access and delivery by sharing digital health success stories and facilitating collaborations in areas such as telemedicine, health information systems, and mobile health applications.
  • South-South Cooperation: India’s G20 presidency has the potential to boost South-South cooperation and collaboration among G20 members and other states from the Global South. India can enable collective progress towards UHC in regions facing comparable issues by developing partnerships, sharing experiences, and supporting capacity-building activities.

@the end

India’s G20 presidency aspires to use collaborative governance and shared responsibility to make the globe less vulnerable to pandemics. India’s participation in Japan’s G7 presidency, as well as its emphasis on robust, egalitarian, and sustainable UHC and the creation of global health architecture, reflect shared responsibilities and a commitment to solving public health emergencies. We can heal our planet, develop harmony within our global family, and offer hope for a better future if we work together.

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.