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Highlighting the philosophy of “Aarogyam Param Bhagyam, Swasthyam Sarwaarth Sadhanam", which translates as “Good Health is the Greatest Fortune" and “Health is the only way to Happiness in the World", Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare stated that “under G20 India Presidency, we plan to strive for equitable access to healthcare for all and to help create a framework which can reduce disparities in healthcare availability across the world. India envisions to accelerate efforts towards increasing the pace of implementation of value-based healthcare and achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage across the world". 

She was inaugurating the session on Medical Value Travel on the sidelines of the 1st Health Working Group meeting under the G20 India Presidency, in Thiruvananthapuram. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was also present at the event.

Underscoring the significance of Medical Value Travel, Pawar said that “for centuries, traditional medicine has played a vital role in promoting health in communities worldwide, and it continues to be a first port of call and crucial resource for individuals." 

She highlighted the wide acceptance of traditional medicine and noted that “Traditional medicine is gaining worldwide recognition as effective tools for pain management and hold a lot of promise against antibiotic resistance too. Over 170 of 194 WHO Member States have also reported the use of traditional medicine."

Pawar lauded India’s efforts toward creating a unique ecosystem for holistic wellness and healthcare. She said that “India has been able to combine the best of modern and traditional medicine coupled with wellness treatments. Also, our health system offers quality treatment, having widespread availability and is one of the most affordable in the world."

Encouraging the participants to promote value-based healthcare, Pawar urged the stakeholders to discuss and enable equitable access to value-based healthcare services across the globe. 

Reiterating the need for a holistic policy framework to promote Medical Value Travel, she said that “Medical Value Travel across most of the countries is driven by private sector and while it facilitates provisioning of health services to needy patients cutting across geographical boundaries, the policy imperative to promote Medical Value Travel needs to gain momentum."

Pawar stated that “with G20 India Presidency, we have the opportunity to create multilateral collaborations between countries, facilitated by knowledge sharing, leading to formulation of effective policies aiding accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare to citizens across the world." 

She was hopeful that “G20 nations will forge a unique blueprint for the future of medical value travel through effective collaborations."

Pawar along with other dignitaries also visited stalls on wellness and medical value travel.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan spoke about the significance of Medical Value Travel in the present globalized world. Reiterating the ancient Indian philosophy of healthcare as a service (seva) and Sanskrit saying of Sarve Santu Niramaya (may all in the world remain healthy), he urged all stakeholders to synergize their efforts towards the common goal of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring “Good Health and Wellbeing" and “Universal Health Coverage" for all.

Representatives from the G20 member countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, The United Kingdom, United States of America and European Union attended the event. Special invitee countries included Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, The Netherlands and United Arab Emirates. International organizations such as Asian Development Bank, African Union – AU, ASEAN, BMGF, CEPI, Commonwealth, FAO, G20 Innovation Hub, GAVI, Global AMR R & D Hub, OECD, Rockefeller Foundation, STOP TB-Partnership, World Economic Forum, Wellcome Trust, WHO, World Bank, UNICEF, UNEP etc., also participated in the event.

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