The United Kingdom is keen to establish bilateral partnerships in healthcare with private and public health services providers. The Indo-UK Health Diabetes Summit, to be held in the city in January is a step towards achieving strategic partnerships between professionals in both nations, Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, said.

The Summit will provide a platform to researchers, diabetologists, doctors, students, pharmaceutical and technical firms from both nations to interact with each other and facilitate networking among them. “At a strategic and institutional level, we are keen on government-to-government linkages,” Mr. Nithavrianakis added. Also, individual service providers can establish partnerships with their peers in the United Kingdom.

Such associations would be the proof of the success of the programme, he added.

“We are certain relationships will be forged,” said Prithvi Mohandas, founder and secretary, Indo-British Health Initiative. The various themes that will be pursued at the summit include interventions at the primary healthcare level – a sector in which the UK has great expertise, exchanges to promote healthcare technology innovations, nursing care, and key issues in diabetes management and research.

Mr. Mohandas also added that the summit will have various areas of connect with different participants, including streaming on the web, a young innovators’ award, quiz programmes for youngsters, and a committed networking opportunity.

V. Mohan, chairman, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, and organising chairman of the summit, spoke of the significance of conducting the conference in India, where the number of people with diabetes was steadily increasing.

Latest estimates put the number at 63 million in India, which is a place behind China at the top of the list.

With the vast patient numbers in the country, its excellent diabetes centres and well-qualified professionals, India would do well to set its stock with Britain’s trained researchers, world class educational institutes and advanced technologies.

Vijay Vishwanathan, managing director, MV Hospital for Diabetes, and joint organising chairman, said, given the high personal costs of diabetes care in the country, one of the key takeaways from the summit would be healthcare funding.

Indians are among those who bear the highest out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare, and the NHS-funded model would be able to provide valuable inputs.

The Summit will be held on January 18 and 19, in Chennai, and will be co-ordinated by UK Trade and Investment.

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