India: Hospitals

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of supporting India with the establishment of covid-19 field hospitals.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government of India has informed us that government to government donations to support their response to the pandemic are no longer being sought. The Government of India is no longer setting up COVID-19 field hospitals and has not requested support from the UK Government.

The UK was the first country to deliver life-saving medical support to India to help fight COVID-19. We put together a package focusing on India's most urgent needs, including oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and oxygen generating units. The latest shipment was delivered on 9 May, which brought the total package of equipment to 495 oxygen concentrators, 1,200 ventilators and three oxygen generating units.

There is also significant scientific and medical collaboration underway between the UK and India. Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have regularly spoken to their Indian counterparts to exchange advice, insight and expertise. NHS England and NHS Improvement established a Clinical Advisory Group, led by Chief People Officer Prerana Issar, to support India's COVID-19 response.

UK-India collaboration is benefitting both countries and the world. We will continue to work closely with the Government of India during this difficult time, as well as the wider international community in the global fight against the pandemic.

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