India and Sweden to cooperate in healthcare

India and Sweden will soon enter a swap deal that will see gain in terms of diagnostics and medical education for yoga and ayurveda in the European country.

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, ''A road map would be collectively charted out in this regard very soon,'' Swedish minister for elderly care and public health, Maria Larsson was also present at the inauguration of Indo–Swedish health week in New Delhi yesterday.

Larsson expressed hope that both countries could benefit from each other's strengths in the area of public health.
According to Azad, India was ready to enter into a partnership in the field of geriatric care and mental health especially for faculty development and human resource to sustain its national programmes.

''While we are a young country, the absolute number of people who are above the age of 65 years is huge and growing very fast. This segment of the population requires specialised care, which currently is provided from within the families. But with economic progress, large families are giving way to micro families leaving the elderly quite vulnerable to disease and distress,'' Azad added.

He said that India supported Sweden's views on controlling the risk factor of alcohol and that a global strategy needed to be adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2010.

India and Sweden have identified areas of interest which would be explored through thematic workshops in six fields viz antimicrobial resistance, pharmaceuticals, medical research, health policy research, alcohol policy and adolescent health were being organised at the National Institute of Health and family Welfare in New Delhi on the 2 February.