India leading global efforts in addressing public health challenges: Choubey

New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey on Thursday said that India is leading global efforts in addressing challenges of the public health sector.

He also stated that India is the leader of the global pharmaceutical industry and generic medicines.

In his closing remarks on the concluding day of '2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products', the minister said 'Under leadership of the Prime Minister, we are leading global efforts in addressing challenges of the public health sector.' He also highlighted the ambitious PMJAY program in public health.

'Ayushman Bharat rolled out across the country with its two pillars --Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) & Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (PMJAY), is contributing towards reducing catastrophic out of pocket expenditure and expanding Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”.  Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India, called India the pharmacy of the world, not just for vaccines and generic drugs but now also for medical devices.

'I appreciate the regulatory framework that is followed in India and I applaud the fact that now India has launched the biggest hepatitis B program in the under-developed world,' he said.

Dr Bekedam also highlighted how the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) is reducing the out of pocket expenditure of the people and providing cashless tertiary care.

The main objective of the conference organised by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was to accelerate access to medical products for achieving a universal health coverage in the context of the SDGs.

Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday announced that the 2020 World Conference will also be held in the country from September 23 to 25.  It will be followed by the 'International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA)', which India will be hosting for the first time. The event will take place from September 28 to October 2, 2020.

Following the UN high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the 2019 World Conference seeks to take forward the international and national agenda on access to medical products.

Established in 2015, the SDGs include 232 individual indicators to monitor 17 goals and 169 targets, ranging from energy, climate change, economic growth to health and education.

The 2030 Agenda commits the global community to 'achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions -- economic, social and environmental -- in a balanced and integrated manner'.

Health is an important cross-cutting policy issue in the international agenda, as it is a precondition and an outcome and indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable.