Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today congratulated Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his appointment as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and stated that India looks forward to working with the new Director-General of WHO to build a strong, resilient health system, especially in developing countries, to mitigate any vulnerability to health crises. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1st July 2017.
Earlier, Shri Nadda addressed the Plenary Meeting of the 70th World Health Assembly, at Geneva. The Union Health Minister spoke on the theme – ‘Advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: building better systems for health.’
“India remains committed to ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for all. We have made strategic investments under the National Health Mission and the national disease control programmes. We are committed to further strengthening the health systems,” Shri Nadda said.
Shri Nadda also informed the participants that the National Health Policy, 2017 lays down the roadmap for various milestones and targets. “To translate the Policy into affirmative action, we are working with the States, Union Territories, academicians and development partners. A National SDG-3 Task Force has been set up with representation of key ministries, agencies and experts,” he said.
Reiterating the commitment of the government, the Health Minister said that India is committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC). He further added that health systems strengthening and universal comprehensive primary health care through Health and Wellness Centres has been identified as non-negotiable strategies towards UHC. “We plan to achieve more than 90% immunization coverage by 2020. We are rolling out universal population-based screening for common NCDs. There is more stress on quality improvement in public health service delivery. We plan to provide essential Drugs & Diagnostics-free of cost in public health facilities,” Shri Nadda stated.