Strong political will key to boosting e-healthcare in India: WHO

New Delhi: A strong political will is essential for the growth as well as success of e-healthcare facilities in India, a top executive from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

“Having very, very strong political will at the highest level with proper leadership and guidance is most essential for the successful implementation of digital healthcare in the country,” said Mark Landry, Regional Advisor, (South-East Asia), WHO.

Landry was speaking at the “Digital Health and Technology” roundtable in the capital organised by the George Institute for Global Health in partnership with the Australian High Commission in India.

“Learning from other countries like Australia and Canada where digital health has made a difference and adapting them to the Indian standards can further boost e-health in the country,” Landry added.

The roundtable, which included health experts and policymakers, discussed solutions required in health services delivery, advances in medical health and digital technologies, regulatory challenges and implementation experiences in Australia and India.

“E-health is an incredibly significant issue. All state governments in Australia have a high-level vision and goals for digitising health which is supported by raising the levels of digital health maturity across the system,” Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy told the gathering.

“The high-level vision of Australia in delivering quality, security, health services with the aid of digital technology, can help boost e-healthcare in India that recently launched the National Health Policy 2017 outlining the roadmap towards a ‘National Digital Health Authority,'” noted Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, George Institute for Global Health.

Earlier this year, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi exchanged an MoU where they committed to continue cooperation and build on long-standing collaboration in the health sector.

A summary of recommendations from the roundtable will be submitted to the Bilateral Senior Officials Working Group on Health and Medicine that will meet in June this year.


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