India-Sri Lanka Cooperation in Health Sector Strengthened
| Indian Observer Post - 05 Mar 2018

India-Sri Lanka Cooperation in Health Sector Strengthened

Colombo, 5 March 2018: “India-Sri Lanka cooperation in health sector has strengthened in recent years. Let us continue to work together to better and healthier societies", Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka said while speaking at the opening ceremony of Medicare Show which began on Friday in Colombo. The Exhibition Show was organized from 2nd - 4th March 2018.

In his keynote address, the High Commissioner of India emphasized over the growing number of initiatives in the recent period which have strengthened the bilateral cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. 

"We have recently agreed on the modalities to operationlize the 1990 Emergency Ambulance Services in Sri Lanka under an Indian grant, fulfilling a commitment made by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his landmark visit to Sri Lanka last year. You would also recall the inauguration of a new District Base Hospital in Dickoya, built under Indian grant. We have also gifted the construction of a hospital in Vavuniya; and provided medical equipment to hospitals in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu. The South Asian Satellite, which India launched in May, will also provide services in tele-medicine, and tele-education. These are important milestones in our bilateral relations".

On the domestic front, Mr. Singh highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the government of India in terms of the vast network of Primary Health Care Centers, health care programmes such as Ayushman Bharat and provision of affordable and quality healthcare services which has kept the momentum running in the country. He also made a special reference to the private sector contributions in transforming the healthcare landscape of the country. " The private sector also has been equally successful in providing quality healthcare at some of the most affordable prices in the world", he said.

India's contributions to the world and to Sri Lanka were also reiterated by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Government of Sri Lanka and Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Chairman of Medicare 2018. While Dr. Senaratne emphasized on India being one of the ne of the largest supplier of medicines and pharma products to the world, Dr. De Silva Stressing over the fact that approximately 60-70 percent of Sri Lanka's pharma requirements are met by India. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne in her address, invited India to help develop Sri Lanka's traditional medicine sector in which the country specialises heavily.

Medicare is the national healthcare exhibition of Sri Lanka with the 9th edition in running. The Chairman of Medicare 2018, Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Deputy Director, General Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, in his welcome address informed that the Show comprises of four main segments namely Healthcare Expo for local healthcare providers from the government and private sectors, Medical Tourism Expo for International Hospitals to promote their servicers among the Sri Lankans, Ayurvedic Expo for both Local & International Companies and the Medical Equipment, Lab & Pharmaceutical Expo for India and international companies to meet local agents, suppliers and relevant Government authorities to set up their businesses in Sri Lanka.

FICCI, the apex industry chamber of India, in partnership with Government of India is organizing an ‘India Pavilion’ at the Medicare Show. Over 50 Indian companies specializing in healthcare services, medical tourism, pharmaceutical & medical equipment devices and suppliers are participating in the Show. Moreover, business to business interactions between the industry are also being organised during the Show.

Mr. Jithu Jose, Senior Committee Member of FICCI and Director Apollo (South Asia and Middle East) in his address mentioned over the growing nature of bilateral economic engagements between India and Sri Lanka in the healthcare sphere, particularly with the latter being globally known for its speciality in traditional medicinal practices and healthcare tourism. He also emphasized over FICCI’s growing bilateral thought leadership initiatives being undertaken with Sri Lanka to promote trade and commerce. FICCI also holds the Co-Chair of India-Sri Lanka CEOs’ Forum.

Over the next two days, the Indian companies would be showcasing state of the art technology in healthcare, providing an effective platform for all medical professionals to get access to latest and sophisticated innovations in the medical industry. Moreover, one would also witness interactive discussions on healthcare pertaining to oncology, health lifestyle, lab technologies, multi-specialityetc. and  knowledge sharing programs parallelly with the exhibition. A technical session on registration procedures in Sri Lanka will also be for the Indian industry in partnership with National Medicines Regulatory Authority.

The healthcare industry of India, valued at over US$ 150 billion is one of the largest growing in the economy -  both in terms of revenue and employment generation. Comprising of hospital services, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment, the industry is slowly and steadily expanding its coverage and outreach. As per official figures from Government of India, the healthcare industry of India is expected to reach nearly US$ 280 billion by 2020 due to growing demand for specialised and quality services. India is also the second most attractive medical tourism destination in the world.

At the same time, Sri Lanka's health indicators are comparable to some of the most developed countries in the world. Sri Lanka specializes in offering low cost healthcare services of global standards.

FICCI in association with Government of India, High Commission of India in Sri Lanka and its MoU partner – Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, is leading the participation of Indian industry in the Medicare Show to strengthen the bilateral engagement between the two sides in this field and create a strong regional brand proposition in healthcare.


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