The University of Warwick is helping the Indian state of Kerala redevelop its healthcare system.
Kerala has the highest literacy rate and the highest life expectancy in India but is experiencing an increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and a rapidly aging population and an increase in migrant workers. To address this Kerala’s government is planning to establish training programmes to teach primary care workers such as GPs and nurses.
Kerala’s Minister of Health and Social Justice, Mrs KK Shylaja Kumari, led the delegation to learn from the experience of the NHS how the GP system has adapted to pressures caused by population changes.
The Dean of Warwick Medical School, Professor Sudhesh Kumar said: “We are delighted to host the honourable minister for health of the government of Kerala and her team as they seek to understand how we are tackling issues such as addressing capacity development for primary care, translating research into practice and evaluating the impact of these interventions. We look forward to mutually beneficial collaborations with the State of Kerala.”
The five-strong group included Mr Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary to government, health and family welfare department, Dr Sarita RL director of health services, Dr Harikumar Nair the dean of Kerala University of Health Sciences and Dr Devkiran of the mission monitoring team of the chief minister of Kerala State.
The team from Kerala also visited University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and local general practices in Coventry city centre along with local clinicians and members of the academic unit for primary care at Warwick Medical School. They are also exploring opportunities for collaboration with the University of Warwick for training and research.
The two-day event which took place from 23-24 October included talks about areas of training and research being conducted at Warwick Medical School such as health issues in urban settlements, primary care and mental health resource in India, GP training and postgraduate training.
The tour of University Hospital included a visit to the Surgical Training Centre, which provides training to Warwick Medical Students, as well as specialised training to experienced surgeons.
Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of UHCW NHS Trust, said:
“I was delighted to meet the honourable minister and her team, and to show them the wonderful facilities we have at University Hospital, including our Surgical Training Centre, Arden Cancer Centre and Emergency Department. We are proud of our partnership with the University of Warwick, and look forward to building closer links with Kerala as part of their collaborative work with the government.”