He made these remarks at the Global Indian Physicians Congress, organised by the Global Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), through video conference, the ministry said in a statement.
Vardhan praised the contribution of medical professionals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the world faced the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, it has been our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who have cemented their position as the foremost champions of humanity, saving humankind as it was staring at an existential crisis,” Vardhan was quoted as saying in the statement.
“I salute their courage, valour and selflessness in serving society. No words are enough to express gratitude towards all the Corona Warriors, who risked their own lives to save the lives of others. It’s unfortunate and a great personal loss for me that so many of them lost their lives during this time,” he said.
In this context, the Union Minister also noted GAPIO’s efforts towards establishing the Global Indian Physician COVID-19 Collaborative to continuously share their knowledge and experiences to arrive at the best possible approach for the management of COVID-19, the statement said.
Vardhan took the occasion to highlight the government’s efforts in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been a result of our pre-emptive, proactive and graded approach that India has been able to perform well on various parameters related to COVID19. We have continuously maintained one of the lowest fatality rates and highest recovery rates across the world,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Even with all the attention directed towards managing COVID-19, our government did not lose sight of ensuring continuity of other essential health services. Various policy interventions as well as the use of technology like telemedicine services played a key role in this regard. Our e-Sanjeevani platform has recorded millions of doctor-patient consultations in a short span of time,” he said.
The Health Minister also noted the contribution of scientists.
“Our scientists have done remarkably well, working round the clock to provide us with two vaccines which are being indigenously manufactured and have been approved for emergency use in India. The world’s largest vaccine drive is underway in the country and is moving forward at a rapid pace with more than 1 crore doses administered already,” he said.
“In what is a remarkable endorsement of our spectacular talent and capabilities, India which is often referred to as the pharmacy of the world, is now also emerging as the COVID19 vaccine manufacturing hub of the world,” he added.
Detailing the ongoing work within the ministry, he said it is now working towards further augmenting healthcare systems through a paradigm shift of policies and overarching programs like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana.
A new thinking is taking shape with the establishment of the National Medical Commission, Nursing Commission Bill and National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professions Bills. Ambitious plans have been made for expanding medical colleges and revamping the healthcare infrastructure in India, he said.
“We are constantly working to revolutionize the delivery mechanism of healthcare services in the country,” he said.
Vardhan also mentioned that all the endeavours of the government can greatly benefit from the support and assistance of associations like GAPIO.
He added that facilitating exchange of ideas and knowledge will not only help formulate best practices but also expedite their implementation which will ultimately benefit society.
Vardhan expressed his appreciation to GAPIO which since its inception in 2011 has endeavoured to bring 1.4 million physicians of Indian-origin across the world on a single platform to facilitate exchange of knowledge, skills and research, Vardhan said, according to the statement.