A discussion paper by Rajeev Kher and Arun S. Nair.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed inadequacies and fault lines in the healthcare ecosystem and the related regulations across the world. Countries are engaged in firefighting to save lives and to make available the essentials needed to meet the local demand. The virus that caused the pandemic has, however, shown the irrelevance of national boundaries and has necessitated a new global approach to adequately address the issues that have arisen since the breakout of the disease. Given this background, this discussion paper builds a case for a ‘human-centred global healthcare partnership’ based on the ‘right to health’ and ‘health equity’. It then argues for global coordination on research and technology development, healthcare trade facilitation as well as on notifications relating to health and medical emergencies. Such a multi-disciplinary global framework would be crucial to counter the growing protectionism. In addition to helping in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, it could also strengthen multilateralism and take forward globalisation in an equitable, inclusive and sustainable manner. This paper has included developments on the topic till early-June, 2020.

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