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Australian health delegation keen to explore partnerships with India in the healthcare and assisted living segment

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Pune (Jan. 17, 2015): A 25 member Australian Health and Assisted Living delegation was in Pune to share their industry experiences and develop partnerships with their Indian counterparts as a part of Australia Business Week in India (ABWI).

With a mission to identify, strengthen and deepen relationships with India, the delegates discussed Healthcare and Assisted Lliving (also known as aged care) for both Australian and Indian organizations in an attempt to identify market opportunities and areas of growth. The forum held at Vivanta by Taj, was led by Patrick Kearins, Trade Commissioner – South Asia and leader of the Health and Assisted Living delegation, along with Ms Celia Cornwell, Dean International, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University and Mr Jeffrey Markoff, Chief Executive Officer, Belrose Care. Dr Arun Jamkar, Vice-Chancellor, Maharastra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), and Mr Mansoor Dalal, Founder and Chairman of ALSI shared their insight on the opportunity that India provides in this segment.

Patrick Kearins, Trade Commissioner and leader of the Health and Assisted Living delegation, said Australian organisations are keen to collaborate with Indian businesses to offer solutions to address industry concerns across many areas. “Research and development is a strong area for collaboration between India and Australia with a focus on tropical health, alongwith university collaborations. On a broader level with a regulatory and political point of view, we have a mutual synergy between the Ministry of India and Australia sharing expertise, ideas and researches. The future seems to be very exciting and bright for joint collaboration between India and Australia especially in the delivery of services and education.”

“The delegation is meeting with India’s leading hospital and healthcare providers, developers of retirement communities and senior Government of India officials with responsibility for health with the objective of learning about India's broader health, aged care and assisted living priorities and to see where they might be able to contribute through partnerships,” said Mr Kearins.

“Australia has one of the most established aged care sectors in the world, having evolved the current model over more than 50 years and can deliver multiple levels of care for seniors, their carers and families. The aged care system in Australia is one of the most thoroughly regulated in the world and is used as a model by many other countries,” said Mr Kearins.

Senior health and living capabilities span services, products, leading-edge technologies, infrastructure, research and development (R&D), education and training in areas such as clinical neuroscience, cardiovascular conditions, oncology and assisted living. Dementia care in particular is emerging as a health priority.

“Australian businesses also offer wide-ranging capabilities in the design, construction, management and provision of support services to aged care facilities and retirement housing, which offer fully integrated healthcare facilities and services. This is complemented by an established medical device industry, with an internationally recognised capability to innovate and develop world-class products. This includes innovative and niche healthcare products, from the ‘bionic ear’ to continuous positive airway pressure devices to treat sleep apnoea,” said Mr Kearins.

Shedding light on the mutual partnership with Australia, Dr Arun Jamkar, Vice-Chancellor, Maharastra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), said they have recently signed an MoU with Minister of Sydney for a faculty and student exchange program. He also mentioned that India has an abundance of clinical material and Nursing and physiotherapy are key focus areas and where India can work closely with Australia in developing teaching and research partners. “We are very excited about the New Colombo Plan which offers Australian undergraduates new opportunities for scholarships to study in the Indo Pacific region. In addition, we are building our research collaboratively with Australia as a part of the Australia India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) in a bid to expand our joint study in health education particularly in cervical cancer awareness.”

Dr Jamkar also added, “India had a trend of students going to UK to study and pursue medicine since Indians follow the British system of medicine, however offlate the trend is to go to USA. The opportunity now lies in exploring Australia as a destination for medical education since students require just a basic bachelor degree to pursue the four years of medicine.”

Led by the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, ABWI is the largest Commonwealth-sponsored trade, investment, education and tourism mission ever undertaken to India, comprising around 450 business delegates. The business delegation will be visiting New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.

India is Australia’s11th largest trading partner with two-way trade of A$15.2 billion and fifth largest export market, with total exports of A$11.4 billion. Total Indian investment in Australia is near A$11 billion (up from A$600 million in 2006), while total Australian investment in India is over A$6.5 billion.