Trump Invited to AAPI’s Annual Convention in Atlantic City, NJ June 2017
“On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), I want to congratulate and offer our best wishes to our President-Elect, Donald Trump on his stunning and remarkable victory in the Presidential Election,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI, in a statement issued here. Describing that AAPI is a non-political umbrella organization which has nearly 90 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. AAPI represents the interests of over 60,000 physicians and 25,000 medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States, Dr. Lodha, a prominent physician with decades of service to the country, said, “The mission AAPI, the largest ethnic organization of physicians, is to provide a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American physicians to excel at inpatient care, teaching and research, and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. The new Executive Committee is working hard to ensure active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling AAPI’s voice to be heard in the corridors of power, and thus taking AAPI to new heights.”
Dr. Lodha has extended a warm welcome to President-Elect Trump to be the Chief Guest at the next annual Convention. “We want to invite President-Elect Trump to address the delegates at our next AAPI Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 21-25, 2017. The convention provides a venue for medical education programs and symposia with world renowned physicians on the cutting edge of medicine. The 35th AAPI Convention will be held at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 21-25, 2017,” Dr. Lodha said.
AAPI’s New York Chapter under the leadership of Dr. Raj Bhayani is working hard to make this convention a memorable one for all. Expected to have a record attendance of nearly 3,000 delegates including Physicians, Industry Leaders, CEOs, Academicians, Researchers and Medical students at the convention, the annual convention offers extensive academic presentations, recognition of achievements and achievers, and professional networking at the alumni and evening social events. We are expecting a large pool of international media representatives at the convention. Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and internationally will convene and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities for the coming year.
The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.
AAPI is also transitioning into a multiyear thinking and behavior by maintaining core continuity. By establishing AAPI PAC, we are now one step closer to exercise our right and assume our responsibility representing the collective voice of the Medical community. Under his leadership, AAPI is all set to make its voice heard and has initiated to present its policies on healthcare before the new administration.
According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI’s Legislative initiatives for 2016-17 include, addressing Physician Shortage, and urged the President Elect to increase Residency Positions across USA. “Our nation is currently experiencing a physician shortage, which will be exacerbated by retiring baby boomers. The result of such a shortage may affect thousands of patients’ access to a physician, and ultimately the health care they need. The only way to address this future crisis is to increase the number of residency positions available for future physicians to get trained, so that our nation can effectively manage the need for increased patient care. Increasing the size of medical school classes is not enough. There must be a simultaneous increase in the size of residency positions to train these future doctors. As Congress capped the number of residency positions in 1997, it is time for Congress to act NOW to remedy this critical situation. AAPI believes that ALL Americans have the right to see a physician,” Dr. Lodha said.
AAPI has appealed to the US Congress to increase the size of entering Medical School classes, Dr. Lodha said. Pointing out that from 1980-2005, while medical school enrollment remained flat, the U.S. population increased by more than 70 million people. Because the percentage of baby-boomer generation doctors (55 and older) rose from 27 percent to 34 percent during this time, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that America will need 90,000 physicians by 2020, Dr. Lodha said, the number of physicians needed by 2025 according to the AAMC will reach a staggering 130,000. One way to address this shortage is to increase medical school class sizes to meet this future health care need. This issue is vital as it pertains to health care reform, as more physicians will be needed to provide quality health care to our nation’s uninsured patients.
Dr. Lodha urged the newly elected President and his administration to enact Medical Liability Reform. “AAPI supports a healthy doctor-patient environment by curbing aggressive litigation targeting physicians,” Dr. Lodha said. Such lawsuits have had a chilling effect and driven up the cost of health care, through extra testing and the practice of defensive medicine. In the 112th Congress, The “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011,” (H.R. 5) limited the conditions for lawsuits and punitive damages for health care liability claims. It established a statute of limitations and limited noneconomic damages to $250,000. AAPI signed a coalition letter led by the American Medical Association to the Deficit Reduction Committee, which noted that the Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost savings from implementing medical liability reform, including limits on noneconomic damages, to be $62.4 billion over 10 years. Fewer physicians today practice in areas such as obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and emergency medicine, due to increased lawsuits and increasing malpractice insurance premiums.
AAPI supports federal and state legislation that places effective caps on non-economic damages, limits the use of joint-and-several liability, provides physicians with flexibility to negotiate settlements with medical insurers and further limits the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims, Dr. Lodha said.
Endorsing President-Elect Trump’s call, Dr. Lodha said, AAPI supports the modification of the Affordable Care Act. “We believe that the current ACA could be improved upon greatly. To merely repeal the ACA would result in 20 million losing their health insurance coverage and that would be problematic to say the least. A more reformed system with emphasis on free-market while retaining the provisions protecting consumers with pre-existing conditions would be ideal.” According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI opposes MACRA and MIPS. These systems detract from the care of patients by adding an excessive amount of paper work. There is a tremendous burden to report all of these measures. For more information on AAPI and its programs and initiatives, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org and www.aapiusa.org