UK and India step up their health partnership

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PM Modi in his discussions with PM Theresa May discussed plans to boost India’s healthcare infrastructure

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the UK has given a fillip to the health partnership between the two countries. Both the countries will share research, knowledge and technology in diverse areas pertaining to health. The UK government will invest GBP 1 million in an Artificial Intelligence project that will support India’s national health programmes. This follows Niti Aayog’s announcement of piloting AI-based initiatives in healthcare. UK-based companies with innovative healthcare technologies will be able to participate in this project which is expected to generate GBP 50 million business for UK’s digital health industry.

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Prime Minister Modi in his discussions with Prime Minister Theresa May also discussed plans to come up with 5,000 diagnostic centres in India using UK’s National health Service (NHS) expertise, equipment and suppliers. This will be a big boost to India’s healthcare infrastructure. The Indo UK Clinics will operate with the highest NHS standards and clinical governance processes. Our e-Health and m-Health platforms will facilitate exchange of patients’ medical records electronically using telemedicine, tele-radiology and tele-pathology for diagnostics etc. It’s all about covering the last mile and taking healthcare services down to patient’s doorstep. We shall also have mobile diagnostic units functioning in the catchment area. These mobile diagnostic units will be GPS-enabled and provide facilities like X-ray, blood test etc. Around 10 mobile diagnostic units will serve every three lakh population and bridge the demand-supply gap that exists when it comes to primary healthcare.

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Dr Ajay Rajan Gupta

Eleven medicities are already being developed in India by Indo UK Institute of Health (IUIH). According to Dr Ajay Rajan Gupta, Managing Director and Group CEO, IUIH, “Our objective is to provide 400 million Indians world-class NHS standard healthcare that’s available, affordable and accountable. Up to 20 per cent patients will be given free treatment at IUIH Medicities.”

It is noteworthy that NHS, as per a recent study done by Commonwealth Fund, has been rated as the best healthcare system in the world when compared to healthcare systems in several countries including USA, Australia, Canada, France and Germany.

UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, said, “I am proud that our NHS will be used as an example of gold standard healthcare in India – it is only right that our world-leading knowledge and expertise is shared across the globe.”

Steve Brine MP , Congress House, Great Russell St, London WC1. He was in London for the decision by the JCPCT on the future of the childrens' cardiac unit at Southampton General Hospital Wednesday 4th July 2012

Steve Brine

UK’s Health Minister Steve Brine said, “This partnership between Britain and India represents a firm trajectory for healthcare into the modern world. Through new research, shared expertise and attention to ground-breaking technologies, both nations can continue to lead the world in health and care.”

Each of the 11 medicities shall have a 1000-bed hospital, a medical college, a nursing college, PG academy and a training facility for allied health professionals. IUIH is running the medicities programme in partnership with leading UK hospitals, the first of which is King’s College Hospital. IUIH Medicities will also have a separate zone for medical equipment and device manufacturing, and pharmaceutical production. Cutting edge medical research shall be carried out at the IUIH medicities in areas as diverse as genomics & stem cells, translational research and clinical research leveraging on the patient data available. Besides 11,000 beds, they are slated to have 5000 doctors, 25,000 nurses and 400,000 employees. The medicities, put together, shall have 22,440 residential units, 2750 hotel keys and up to 98 million sq. ft. of development space with 400 megawatts of energy requirement. The vision is to create a health ecosystem that’s self-sustainable and generates employment for people in the region.

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Jeremy Hunt

“The intention is to make each of the IUIH medicities a global medical tourism hub that’ll attract patient traffic from across the globe. NHS standard healthcare at lower price points is our winning formula to tap the medical tourism business potential. This shall not just contribute to the exchequer but lead to overall development of the region too, in line with the government’s Smart Cities initiative. IUIH has tied up with leading implant companies and leading medical equipment companies too. Many of them would start their manufacturing operations in IUIH Medicity Amaravati in accordance with Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ program bringing the healthcare cost further down for patients,” informed Dr. Ajay Rajan Gupta.

On November 12, 2015, the British Prime Minister then, Mr. David Cameron, and the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, had signed a historic Health Collaboration Agreement to support the development of 11 IUIH Medicities across 11 states in India. On 7th November 2016, the British Prime Minister Ms. Theresa May and Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the Indo UK Tech summit in New Delhi where IUIH celebrated its 1st year anniversary.  IUIH has been making steady progress as far as its projects are concerned. The construction of the IUIH Medicity Nagpur is in full swing. In fact, Zimmer Biomet, one of the leading orthopaedic implant companies is setting up a Post Graduate Training Academy at the facility for which the design work has commenced. Preparation of designs and site plans for the hospital at IUIH Medicity Amaravati, in the new state capital of Andhra Pradesh, have commenced and the construction is in the planning phase. Land acquisition for IUIH Medicity Hyderabad has also been done. Recently, IUIH has signed up an MoU with Government of Assam and Government of UP for setting up an IUIH Medicity in both the states.

Besides Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam and UP, the other states to benefit from the IUIH Medicity programme include Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Healthcare UK and Department for International Trade (DIT) India are supporting IUIH with its plans. The project is supported by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Invest India, which is the national investment promotion and facilitation agency for India promoted by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.