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27 August 12:00 AM

Britain, India extend health partnership to deal with global health risks

British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, agreed to step up the health partnership between the UK and India. The UK-India Statement of Intent on Partnership for Cooperation in Third Countries will be extended, with the aim of improving the health and wealth of both countries.

Health research will be expanded in the areas of anti-microbial resistance, low cost health products and high yield crops, according to the British Department of Health and Social Care.

The UK government will invest £1 million in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) project that will support India’s national health programs. UK-based companies with innovative healthcare technologies will be able to participate in this project, which will generate around £50 million of business for the UK’s digital health industry.

There are also plans to develop up to 5,000 diagnostic centers in India using NHS expertise, equipment and suppliers.

Eleven new ‘medicities’ are already being developed in India, with related hospitals, nursing and medical colleges, and research and innovation centers.

The medicities program is run by the Indo UK Institute of Health (IUIH) in partnership with leading UK hospitals, the first of which is King’s College Hospital.

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."

"Global disease, infection and antimicrobial resistance are real threats to us at home and abroad – this partnership will enable us to tackle 21st century threats together," he added.

Health Minister Steve Brine said: "Health expertise and research is a global issue – if we act alone in tackling virulent diseases and long term health threats, we will fail."

"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," he added.

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