Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday said that India is a global example where "we have used technology for making available efficient services to the people".
"Technology enables accessibility and reduces out of pocket expenditure for citizens," he said at the second International Symposium on Health Technology Assessment (ISHTA) 2023 here.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya was also present on the occasion. The international symposium was organised by Department of Health Research, Health Ministry in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and Centre for Global Development.
The symposium with the theme "Affordability, Availability and Accessibility of Healthcare Technologies through Evidence generated by Health Technologies Assessments (HTA) for Universal Health Coverage" has provided a platform for stakeholders such as academia, researchers, policy makers, industry, etc., to share their views on importance of HTA, international perspective on health technology use and host first ever HTA marketplace in the country.
"India is moving towards ensuring affordability, accessibility and equity through revolutionary steps like Aatmanirbharta initiative, behavioral changes through Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan, affordable medicines through more than 9,100 Jan Aushadhi Kendras, strengthening medical workforce, institutions," Dhankar said.
"The government has also taken several initiatives to ease the burden on the poor and downtrodden section. With the world largest, transparent and accountable program of Ayushman Bharat being launched by this government, it is catering to the citizens welfare and simultaneously generating jobs and enterprise."
Speaking about the significance of health technologies and its assessment processes, Dhankhar threw light on the crucial nature of technology in ensuring equity.
"Technology is a turning point in ensuring quality governance. The availability of healthcare services especially in the recently opened Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) is a gamechanger for a common citizens."
He said that India has shown its mettle by successfully handling the Covid-19 pandemic and supported countries through medicines and expertise. The strategy of Health Technology assessment is yet another step towards an innovative approach to strengthen the ecosystem that is working towards universal health coverage, he added.
"Assessments of public interventions taken for public welfare is the need of the hour. This will allow establishing efficient processes and work as a feedback mechanism for better cost-effectiveness of programs and initiatives," said Mandaviya, adding that ISHTA 2023 will go a long way in helping to facilitate multi-country cooperation through new collaborative projects in the health sector.
Mandaviya said that Government of India is committed to extending healthcare services to all its citizens as part of Indiaa�s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.
The resources can be optimally utilised with the help of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), which is a widely used methodology globally, for optimization of resource allocation and utilization in health.
Citing the example of Co-WIN which was turned into a universal public good, the Union Health Minister said: "India has always been responsible to global community and any research and innovation happening in the country is readily available for the world to use so that it benefits all.
This is an apt example of our dedication towards one world one family approach in this Amrit Kal. "It is our responsibility and duty to not only provide affordable and quality healthcare to the country, but to use our strengths to serve and support global healthcare goals under the philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.
Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister, our aim remains to become developed country not through competition but through coordination, collaboration or Sahyog. Similar collaboration among stakeholders is required in health sector."
The symposium was attended by about 250 participants. Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, who was also present at the ceremony, said that "our responsibility remains to work with the available resources and come up with efficient and highest possible outcomes. For this Health Technology assessment will be crucial".