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Establishment of the Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB): Initiating Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in India

by Sneha Rajbhandari, Saudamini Dabak and Kartik Sharma

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Since 2013, the HITAP International Unit (HIU) has been providing technical support to various developing countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Bhutan, and India by sharing the Thai experience in generating and using health technology assessment (HTA) to inform policy decisions. HITAP works in collaboration with the country and international partners and is part of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), a network of priority setting agencies, which aims to support “better decisions for better health” in low and middle-income countries. As part of its support, HITAP conducts study visits, training, technical workshops as well as internship and fellowship programs.

The Department of Health Research (DHR) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, is in the process of establishing a Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB) which will act as the priority setting body for HTA in India. In support of this effort, iDSI received a supplementary grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to support the institutionalization of HTA in India. This collaborative project runs from Jan 2017 till Dec 2019 and involves a close partnership between the Global Health and Development (GHD) team at Imperial College (UK), HITAP, Mahidol University (Thailand) and local partners in India, most notably, DHR, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and Shri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST).

With a view to building technical capacity for HTA among MTAB staff and its technical partners, an introductory, technical workshop on HTA was organized in Kerala, India by DHR and SCTIMST in collaboration with GHD, PGIMER, HITAP and Mahidol University who served as resource persons. Following the workshop, HITAP and Mahidol University staff visited the MTAB office in New Delhi, India, to support fine-tuning the research proposal of the study selected for HTA by MTAB and prepare for a stakeholder meeting, provide feedback to the PGIMER team on the HTA study as well as other work on HTA and engage with the team from Kerala on a suitable topic for HTA.

Humayun’s Tomb was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Mughal Emperor Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam in Nizammudin Area, New Delhi, India. This tomb is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.(Source: Unesco)

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