Earlier this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled an ambitious plan to give 100 million families free access to healthcare. With some commentators comparing the new public health insurance scheme to the NHS in the UK, the question of the central position of healthcare in the bilateral relationship between the two countries is as pertinent as ever.
After 70 years of a national health service, what lessons can the UK healthcare service give India? Can resourceful and low-cost innovations developed in India be adapted to the British system and, if so, how? And with India’s healthcare market estimated to grow to $280 billion by 2020, what will be the role of the private sector as India attempts to build a ‘safety-net’ for its poorest citizens?
Panelists at the Indian Professionals Forum event on 27 November 2018 at Chatham House examined how India and the UK can collaborate on health care policy and provision:
The discussion focused on a number of areas that the NHS in the UK and Indian healthcare institutions can collaborate on for mutual benefit, and in particular on the IUIH Programme, set up following the Health Collaboration Agreement signed in 2015 by then British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, to provide affordable, available and accountable healthcare to a billion people in India. Over the next 10 years alone, this Programme aims to develop 11,000 NHS quality beds across India to provide world class healthcare to 400 million Indians.
The panelists also discussed Healthcare UK a UK government initiative which is creating an export catalyst to help NHS organisations with capabilities and capacity issues to help target the Indian market. The challenges to establish universal health coverage in the context of the Indian political, financial and economic environment was the focus of the conclusion of discussions.
The expert panel discussion was followed by a networking opportunity for IPF members and healthcare professionals.