India, Japan sign memorandum for co-operation in healthcare

The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved the signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in healthcare with Japan.

The agreement signed between India's ministry of health and family welfare and the ministry of health, labour and welfare of Japan, will benefit people of both countries, an official release said on Wednesday.

Under the memorandum of cooperation, the two countries will cooperate in the development of human resources, which include training programmes for medical practitioners, nurses and public health professionals.

The two countries will share experiences in public health insurance system and financing of universal health coverage, healthcare service delivery (including technical exchange to improve quality of care), healthcare system governance and management (including sharing of know-how on management of hospitals and community healthcare centers) as also health information systems, including sharing of experiences and technology regarding telemedicine and electronic-health information system.

Besides, the bilateral cooperation will cover pharmaceuticals and medical devices, health research, disease surveillance, traditional medicines, and any other areas as may be mutually decided upon.

A working group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of the MoC.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon be leaving for Japan. For several reasons, his visit will not be an ordinary one. In a statement issued by the PMO, Modi explains, ''I will visit Tokyo and Kyoto, and will interact with all sections of Japanese society from students, political leaders to captains of industry.''

Though Modi could not make it in July due to the ongoing Parliament session, the visit will undoubtedly be special as it will be the Prime Minister's first bilateral meet outside the subcontinent. Further, Japan is an important strategic partner for India.

Apart from the first ever defence cooperation agreement between Japan and India which is expected to be signed, there is a cultural and spiritual dimension to the visit as well.