Affordable and Quality Healthcare for all through a holistic approach
The issue of Health appeared for the first time as a discussion point at the 3rd BRICS Summit in 2011 in Sanya, China with regard to HIV/AIDS. Since then BRICS has held Ministerial level meetings devoted to health with the 1st meeting of BRICS Health Ministers in Beijing in July 2011 in which it was agreed to institutionalize the dialogue among BRICS Ministers of Health. A Working Group to discuss specific proposals of BRICS cooperation in health was also established.
In 2012, BRICS Health Ministers decided to meet over the side-lines of the World Health Assembly at WHO, Geneva. The 2nd and 6th BRICS Health Ministers meetings were held in New Delhi on 11 January, 2013 and 16 December, 2016 respectively.
At the 2nd meeting of BRICS Health Ministers (2013), among other things, the Ministers reiterated their support to the continued discussions on the process of reform of WHO to better respond to global challenges; renewed their commitment to strengthening international cooperation in health, in particular South-South cooperation, with a view to supporting efforts in developing countries to promote health for all; and agreed to cooperate in all international fora regarding matters relating to TRIPS flexibilities with a public health perspective.
At the 6th BRICS Health Ministers meeting (2016), among other things, the Ministers resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the Working Group and the “BRICS Framework for Collaboration on Strategic Projects in Health”.
Under the 10th Meeting’s theme “Era of Covid-19: Global BRICS Solidarity for Health Safety”, in 2020, the Health Ministers agreed to deliver decisive, coordinated and inclusive multilateral efforts to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, while maintaining the spirit of trust and partnership amongst the BRICS countries even in the post Covid-19 era.
BRICS cooperation in health has been strengthened in the context of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. It is likely to remain an important area for BRICS cooperation even in the post Covid-19 World. The strength of BRICS on Health lies in presenting fresh and inclusive approaches to global Health through robust intra-BRICS engagement and based on genuine developmental partnership and South-South cooperation models among others and in reshaping the Global Health architecture and mechanisms.
At the 12th BRICS Leaders’ Summit, the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his remarks stated that India would focus on consolidation of intra-BRICS cooperation including in the fields of Traditional Medicines and Digital Health, people to people ties and cultural exchanges and would work towards boosting BRICS collaboration in these fields.