New report to grow Australia and India partnerships a welcome step

The George Institute welcomes the report An India Economic Strategy to 2035: Navigating from potential to delivery authored by Mr Peter N Varghese AO for the Australian Government.

The recognition of health in the report as one of the sectors to strategically and systematically grow Australia and India economic cooperation is especially welcome. In particular, we commend the emphasis on the mutual need, and growth opportunities, in addressing non-communicable diseases and the health system challenges posed by these and an ageing population.

Chief Scientist of The George Institute for Global Health, Professor Anushka Patel said that the report provides timely and needed impetus to identify bilateral priorities and mechanisms that can have lasting economic and social benefits.

“There is huge untapped potential in what Australia and India can achieve together in the face of epidemic proportions of non-communicable diseases and injuries in both countries,” said Professor Patel.

“Each country has a unique set of expertise and capabilities in health and research, and by bringing these together in a coordinated and targeted way, there’s real potential to transform health and economic outcomes in both countries, and more broadly, globally.”  

Digital health, universal health coverage, chronic disease prevention and treatment, and research, as recognised in the new report, are clear examples of natural alignment for greater knowledge exchange and partnership between India and Australia.

Executive Director of The George Institute India, Professor Vivekanand Jha, said we live in an era where the biggest health problems are becoming increasingly complex and associated costs increasingly unsustainable.

“A new approach to solving our most pressing health priorities is needed, underpinned by cross-sector collaboration and taking a health system view to preventing and treating disease,” said Professor Jha.

“The George Institute has been in India for over 10 years, and key to our impact and growth has been our partnerships with industry, government, academia, and NGOs, as well as our strong links with Australia and other countries.”

Leveraging existing mechanisms such as the Australia-India MOU and Medical Research Future Fund, as well as making health a Ministerial priority, are also welcome recommendations in the report.  

The George Institute looks forward to continue working with our partners in India and Australia, as well as the Australian Government, as we enter the next chapter of cooperation between both countries.