• India
  • Jan 21

First G20 Health Working Group meeting concludes in Kerala

• The G20 member countries held a constructive discussion during India G20 presidency’s first Health Working Group (HWG) meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram.

• Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, ministry of AYUSH, said integrative health care based on evidence-based traditional medicine practices and modern systems would be helpful in achieving Universal Health Coverage through quality, efficiency, equity, accountability, sustainability and resilience. 

• One of the highlights of the three days’ meeting was a side event on Medical Value Travel. 

• Medical Value Travel (MVT) plays a crucial role in eliminating health care disparities across the globe and through the First Health Working Group meeting, G20 India Presidency aims to provide an impetus to create pathways to bridge this gap, Dr.V.K. Paul, member (health), NITI Aayog, said.

• Emphasizing strengthening ecosystem for Medical Value Travel, Dr. Paul underscored the need for effective governance and policy framework, including setting up of dedicated board and agency for Medical Value Travel.

Dr. Paul also highlighted four key enablers to achieve Universal Health Coverage. 

They are: 

i) Incorporating digitisation and technology advancements.

ii) Renewing focus on holistic healing through integrated health care offerings.

iii) Ensuring effective quality assurance through regulation, standardisation, accreditation and streamlining of institutional procedures.

iv) Forming partnerships among stakeholders for convergence of health, hospitality and travel services.

• During the three-day G20 India first Health Working Group meeting, delegates discussed health priorities like health emergencies prevention and preparedness, strengthening cooperation in pharmaceutical sector and digital health innovation and solutions.

• The Health Track of the G20 India Presidency comprises four Health Working Group (HWG) Meetings and one Health Ministerial Meeting (HMM). The meetings will be held in different locations across the country including Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Hyderabad and Gandhinagar.

What is G20?

• The G20 or Group of 20 is an inter-governmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.

• It is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies.

• The members of G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU). 

• Its members account for more than 85 per cent of world GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and about two-thirds of the world population.

• India has been a member of the G20 since its inception in 1999. 

• India formally assumed the G20 presidency on December 1, 2022.

Genesis of G20

• After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed in discussions on the international financial system, and G-8 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in 1999.

• The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meetings were centered on major economic and monetary policy issues amongst major countries in the global financial system and aimed at promoting cooperation toward achieving stable and sustainable global economic growth for the benefit of all countries. 

• The participating members in the meetings were the same as the current G20 members.

• Since then, finance ministers and central bank governors have met annually. 

• India hosted a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in 2002.

• In November 2008, the inaugural G20 Summit was held in Washington, D.C. in response to the global financial crisis that occurred in the wake of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers. 

• The G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors was upgraded to the head of state level, as a forum for leaders from major developed and emerging market countries. 

• In September 2009, the third summit was held in Pittsburgh where the leaders designated the G20 as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”. 

• From thereon, the summit meetings were held semi-annually until 2010 and annually from 2011 onwards.

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