India pitches for easier cross-border movement of healthcare professionals

India pitches for easier cross-border movement of healthcare professionals

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New Delhi: India has pitched for easier cross-border movement of healthcare professionals and sought an outcome for the initiative at the ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) next year. New Delhi on Tuesday told the multilateral trade body that restrictive trade practices in the services sector have led to inability of countries in mobilising such professionals during the ongoing pandemic.

Emphasising that the pandemic has brought out the inherent weaknesses and inequalities in the global economic system, New Delhi said the need of the hour is a short-term package of measures to address the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and a long-term conversation on how to reform an ailing and imbalanced global trading system.

India’s ambassador to WTO Brajendra Navnit said that members who could have been able to mobilise more number of such professionals, as they were not short of financial resources, were not able to meet increased demand due to restrictive trade practices in services sector.

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“The pandemic has highlighted the need for ensuring easier cross-border movement of healthcare professionals…We must start working on having a multilateral initiative in this respect for an outcome in MC-12,” he said at an informal meeting of heads of delegations, adding that the top priority has to be to save lives.
India and South Africa have put a proposal that seeks to ensure timely and equitable availability of new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for Covid-19 in sufficient quantities and at affordable prices.



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