Health in All Policies: Towards 'Health for All'
l Organ Donation: achieving national self-sufficiency disenfranchisement, commercialisation and controversy
l How can gender affect your health and health care?
l Curbing the spread of disease
l Better Births: Where is the woman's choice in childbirth?
l Making health technologies affordable
l One psychiatrist, 4 lakh patients: how the rights of people with mental health conditions can be protected?
l Providing a safety net for india: advances in health insurance
l Health and holidays: Medical tourism in Goa
l Author, commentator, Gurcharan Das will deliver a talk on February 11 at 7 p.m. at MOG, Pilerne, on the topic, 'Difficulty of being good.' Prior to the talk Subodh Kerkar will speak on 'Goa's Tryst with Medicine'
l What are we doing about cancer?
l How do we ensure equality and opportunity for people with disabilities?
l What's plaguing India's doctors?
l Maintaining elite performance: Health in sport
l Health of young people: Working to reduce premature NCD mortality and morbidity
l India: Health of the Nation
Workshop: Engaging in difficult health dialogues - what is the role of art, film and dialogue in building sustainable community healthcare?
This February will witness leading experts, policy makers and popular personalities gather in Goa for the second edition of the Difficult Dialogues forum, an annual conference tackling vital issues in South Asia. This year's edition will focus on the question: "Is India's Health a Grand Challenge?" It will be held from February 10 to February 12 at International Centre, Goa (ICG), Dona Paula.
This year, the forum will be held in partnership with UCL (University College London) a world-leading university that combines its research excellence across all disciplines to tackle the most pressing global challenges of the 21st century. Health policy experts and anthropologists from UCL such as Marie Lall, Monica Lakhanpaul and Sushrut Jadhav will be amongst the speakers at the conference. Through engaging panel discussions, the speakers will converse about crucial issues of public health budgets, cancer, diseases, mental health, and health technology.
India spends less than one and a half per cent of its GDP on public health. This is a fraction of the amount that other developing countries allocate in their budgets. With this in mind, a top priority of Difficult Dialogues 2017 will be to firmly position health on the political agenda of the Indian government.
In pressing this agenda, attendees can expect to see top government officials discuss new policy directions with a number of leading minds from the professional world, academia, development experts, the media and a host of celebrities with vivid experiences of the issues at hand. Amongst the highlights will be Health Secretary CK Mishra discussing the options open to the country in terms of healthcare funding; actor Manisha Koirala-women's rights activist and cancer survivor will discuss treatment in India and abroad; commentator Pavan Kumar Varma will voice his thoughts on contemporary socio-economic issues in the Health of the Nation panel debate; and leading journalist Siddharth Varadarajan along with actor Kabir Bedi will chair a number of panel discussions.
To capture the voice of students, the forum is also opening up the debate to India's universities by sponsoring Daring Debates, an intensive college debate series about the 'Medical Oath - A Moral Compass No More,' which runs parallel to Difficult Dialogues. This year, medical students from Delhi, Goa, Pondicherry, Lucknow and Guwahati are invited to compete in teams of two with the winning teams from each city being given the chance to battle it out at the grand finale. Aside from the prizes on offer, this will allow the views of our future medical leaders to be considered by experts and peers - an integral part of the forum's inclusive dialogue.
Difficult Dialogues was created by philanthropist Surina Narula, a veteran NGO founder responsible for establishing the internationally lauded Consortium for Street Children. The event intends to bring together leaders from across the spectrum of international society to meet and find equitable solutions to South Asia's most pressing priorities.
Speaking about Difficult Dialogues 2017, the chairman of the Steering Committee Anil Gupta said: "Difficult Dialogues aims to provide a forum for individuals, organisations, think-tanks, media, government and policy makers to get together and debate themes of contemporary relevance in South Asia. This year the vision is to explore the challenges that India faces in creating conditions for good health and access to healthcare for all citizens. I look forward to three days of purposeful and incisive debates leading to the highlighting of key issues and bringing meaningful change and benefit for the people in the South Asian region."
Indeed, last year's forum - in cooperation with the social sciences institute, the London School of Economics - debated critical areas such as India's global financial position, internal social developments and international relations. Panel discussions were leavened with appearances from a sprinkling of film and popular personalities, each of whom delivered eloquent, humorous, yet profound insights. Coinciding with stimulating panel debates, vivid illustrated lectures were hosted by author Amitav Ghosh and activist Srdja Popovic - the combination of activism, policy, art and entertainment made this a very different experience from a regular conference.
The event has thus far been directly responsible for the creation of four white papers (documents fundamental to the creation of new government policy), a series of comprehensive reports, and a follow-up programme of documentaries and awareness initiatives in partnership with tve (Television for the Environment). Going even further, this year's forum aims to produce a list of 'Ten Demands on Health' that will be presented to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
(Difficult Dialogues is open to anyone with a vested interest in the nation's health from February 10 to February 12 at ICG, Dona Paula. For further information on schedules and to register visit www.difficultdialogues.com)