Russia to boost healthcare cooperation with BRICS countries

Moscow : Moscow plans to expand healthcare cooperation with its fellow members in the BRICS bloc, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday.

“After interaction in the G8 format was curbed — and for this we are not to blame — the foreign ministry has paid considerable attention to wider cooperation in healthcare within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) format,” Ryabkov said in opening remarks at an international medical media forum here.

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Russia would take the chair in the next BRICS summit scheduled to be held in the city of Ufa, about 1,400 km west of Moscow, in July next year.

Ryabkov said he wanted “a sizeable chapter” devoted to cooperation in health protection included in Ufa summit’s final document.

The concept of Russia chairing the body already included agreements on partnership in fighting infectious and non-infectious disease, biomedicine, improving quality in medical assistance and ensuring unlimited access, the Russian minister said.

He also noted that Russia had transformed from being a recipient of international assistance in healthcare into one of the largest donors.

The sixth summit held in Fortaleza in Brazil was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, as they deliberated on global economic, political and strategic issues.