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Can no longer work in silos: Vardhan stresses on collaboration between countries


NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic taught countries that such challenges require shared responsibilities and collaborations had become the order of the day.

Vardhan was charing the inaugural session of the annual conference of the India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre under the Sweden-India Nobel memorial week, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

"No conversation on healthcare today is complete without underlining the massive challenge that the planet has faced in the last 10 months on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, each challenge also has a silver lining to it," Vardhan was quoted as saying.

The pandemic has taught "us that our shared challenges also require shared responsibilities. Collaborations and synergies have become the order of the day. We can no longer work in silos. We have to create global synergies like never before," he said.

The cooperation in the field of health between the two countries has been long-standing, for which the 10th year celebration took place last year with much adulation, according to the minister.

Expressing happiness that the cooperation between the two countries bloomed into a multi-stakeholder relationship, Vardhan said: "The inclusion of policy makers, academia and industry will play a key role in innovation, and I look forward to the synergies being created in the process."

Vardhan added that it was on the same lines that the prime ministers of the two countries expressed the desire to enhance cooperation.

The minister said he looked forward to hearing about the strategic plans emerging from the joint working group, set up under the MoU, which is going to meet next week to further increase health cooperation between the two countries.

"The India Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre is also in the process of setting up a Centre of Excellence at AIIMS Jodhpur on Cancer Care," he said.

Vardhan was also invited to witness the announcement of the winners of the first innovation challenge of the Centre.

As many as eight problem statements across therapy areas, including non-communicable diseases and COVID-19, were identified and start-ups across India and Sweden were invited to apply, the statement said.

"In India we have a lot of innovation, the challenge is to scale these ideas, and we support the vision of the Centre towards supporting the scale up within and outside India," Vardhan said.


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