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Canada-India collaboration in healthcare
Posted:Jun 21, 2017
 
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By Ajit Jain
 
Close Canada-India collaboration in health and wellness is a journey that commenced in 2015 in Toronto, when the first major health summit was held, and ended in March 2017 in New Delhi. A major summit was held with over 50 experts – doctors, researchers, health care providers, governments officials, hospitals, -- participating from Canada and India. 
 
The chairman of the Health  Summit, Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, said at the conclusion of the summit on June 5, while releasing a 62-page report, as “India aspires to introduce universal health coverage,” Canada, a “world leader in universal health care “ can help India “roll out accessible, affordable and portable universal health coverage.” 
 
In his keynote speech at the health summit in New Delhi, sponsored by the Canada-India Foundation and co-sponsored by the Ontario Government and India’s Apollo Hospitals, Lakshmanan said India, with its ambitious goal of bringing “quality healthcare to 70% of its population living in rural areas” can get help from Canada with a fruitful partnership between the two countries “with the correct investments of time and capital. 
Topics covered at the healthcare summit included distant and rural healthcare, wellness and quality care, investment in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, digital health, healthcare research and innovation. 
 
Canada’s High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel spoke and laid emphasis on how bilateral relations between the two countries at all levels are strengthening. “Canada believes it can aid India in achieving, as well as the objectives that India can aid Canada in grasping.” 
 
“By investing in healthcare industries and innovations, both nations can increase economic prosperity while also generating significant social impact and fulfil the mandate of their citizens,” Patel said.  
 
Speakers at the New Delhi Summit included Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Rahul Reddy, Apollo Hospital chair and vice-president, Dr. Preetha Reddy and Dr. Jeremy Desai, President and CEO of the  Toronto-based  pharmaceutical company, Apotex. 
 
Indians and other South Asians “have been found to be more susceptible to chronic diseases than any other population, being two times more likely to suffer a stroke or blood clot, three times more likely to develop diabetes and four times more likely to suffer a heart attack,” said Rahul Reddy in his keynote presentation at the New Delhi summit. “There has also been found to be an increased prevalence of both hypertension and obesity in South Asians.”
 
Close to 1.3-million Indo-Canadians, according to the health summit report, also suffer from many of these health challenges. 
 
“The strategy developed and tested in one country can be adopted for another setting,” the healthcare summit report recommends. “The best practices developed through research demonstration projects must be scaled up to the benefit of all.” 
 
The report also recommends how “use of Canadian technologies, advanced scientific research established procedures and protocols with manufacturing and production with excellent human resources available in India, the collaboration can result in high efficient low-cost reliable services not only for the large population of India and Canada but will open up a very large global market.”
 
(Ajit Jain can be contacted at ajit.jain0410@gmail.com)
 
 
 
 
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