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Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell. (Photo: Twitter)
Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell. (Photo: Twitter)

India, Australia can come together, play key role on Tele-Health: Australian envoy

By Ayushi Agarwal | Updated: Sep 05, 2022 23:10 IST

New Delhi [India], September 5 (ANI): Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell on Monday marked his presence at the launch of a disability-inclusive virtual healthcare project "Virtu-Care" in New Delhi and spoke on how significant health has become as he stressed on the significance of the role of India and Australia on tele-health.
"It is an ongoing collaboration through people to people ties. Australia - India council has played a key role in Australia and India Partnership", Farrell said.
Professor Nathan Grills who is the Project lead at the University of Melbourne called India a powerhouse of technology and IT and underlined that the idea of the project came from the personal experiences.
"Health has been a really important part of the framework in responding to be covered both in Australia and in India. We've seen some of our people with disabilities. Not having access to tele -health because it's happened so quickly. So, the idea came from the personal experiences over the last of years and we're hoping to draw other people's personal experiences at disability who are used virtual healthcare and to see how we can make it more accessible to the people with disabilities", Grills told ANI.
"India is a powerhouse in terms of technology and IT. Australia has a lot of experience to especially academically and research to make sure that what we develop is existing with research and research informed, they actually does benefit people who are in need so academically collaborations", he added.
The Virtu-Care Project was announced as one of the recipients of this year's Australia-India Council (AIC) grants recently by Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong. It is a pilot project which aims to produce a tele-health care model that meets the health and rehabilitation needs of people with disability and is led by the University of Melbourne (Nossal Institute).
The project is set to demonstrate the potential of tele-health, providing more inclusive health care services, especially for people with disability. The Government of India and Government of Australia have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the disability sector and this work will deliver results under that MoU.
"India is marking 75 years of independence and on this anniversary, I'm delighted to announce the recipients of this year's Australia-India Council grants.
India is a great friend of Australia's and this funding will continue to build on the links between our countries" the minister tweeted earlier.
The MoU between the two countries was signed in Sydney, Australia in 2018 to encourage cooperation between India and Australia, through joint initiatives in the disability sector and to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Australia. The VirtuCare project applies learnings from the role played by telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the co-design, piloting and evaluation of inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation services in India.
"The announcement comes as we celebrate 75 years of India's independence, as well as thirty years of the AIC. Over that time, the AIC has helped advance Australia's foreign policy and trade interests - strengthening the people to people and institutional bonds between Australia and India. The grants program is key to fostering understanding and encouraging collaboration between our two countries" stated an earlier press release from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Australia. (ANI)