Union health minister, Gates discuss Indian healthcare system

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates appreciates how India handled the COVID pandemic

NEW DELHI | Updated: 01 March, 2023 8:05 pm IST
Union Health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates praised India’s COVID-19 management as he extensively discussed the Indian healthcare system during his meeting with Union Health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, March 1.

Dr Mandaviya also showed him the dedicated war room, which is now known as the Health Emergency Operation Centre and the National Public Health Observatory (NPHO), which was shaped during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NPHO tracked COVID cases and vaccinations speedily and efficiently. At present, it keeps track of each health programme and initiative using artificial intelligence and other state-of-the-art technologies.

“Wonderful meeting with Bill Gates. He appreciated India’s COVID-19 management, vaccination drive, and digital health initiatives like Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission,” Dr Mandaviya said about his meeting.

“We discussed India’s G20 health priorities, PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana and eSanjeevani,” he added.

This was not the first time the two have met. They also met last year in May at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland’s Davos.

Bill Gates has arrived in India to take part in the G20 under the Indian presidency. Gates, who now focuses on his philanthropic efforts through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is carrying out multiple meetings with government bodies as well as industrialists.

The pandemic policy is one of the key priorities for India in the health sector, during its G20 presidency. During the first G20 India Health Track meeting in Kerala on January 18, Union minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar said, “COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic. Learnings from the pandemic must form the agenda for our preparedness and response together. We need to diversify our capabilities and ensure that, collectively, we preserve ourselves in the face of any health crisis.”

The Microsoft co-founder expressed his interest in taking forward business and other initiatives in India. “Like every other country on the planet, India has limited resources. But it has shown us how the world can still make progress in spite of that constraint,” Gates tweeted.

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