AAPI’s historic Global Healthcare Summit Concludes in Kolkata with VP Venkaiah Naidu urging Doctors to Return and Serve India

“AAPI must consider collaborating with various governments and other private organizations in establishing a state-of-the-art healthcare facility in each district of the country where affordable treatment is dispensed,” Naidu tells AAPI Delegates in Kolkata
(Kolkata, India: January 1st, 2018) The 11th edition of the annual Global Healthcare Summit organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), USA concluded here at the historic City of Joy, Kolkata in West Bengal, India on December 30th at the famous JW Marriott with India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu urging Physicians of Indian Origin to return to India and rededicate their lives for the wellbeing of their motherland, India, as all the opportunities are now available here.

“I would be happier if you people can come back to India and do something to help the society. Earlier the opportunity was very less here so people went to different parts of the globe for work. But now everything is available in India,” Naidu said during his valedictory address on the concluding day of the Summit here.  Referring to the issue of brain drain, Naidu said, “I tell our children there are enough facilities in our colleges and IITs.  “Still if you want to go, go learn earn and then return,” he quipped.

“Apart from conducting CMEs, seminars and workshops, AAPI must consider collaborating with various governments and other private organizations in establishing a state-of-the-art healthcare facility in each district of the country where affordable treatment is dispensed,” the Vice President of India told the delegates.
“I am happy to participate in the valedictory session of the 11th Global Health Care Summit-2017, organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI),” Naidu said at valedictory event of the GHS in Kolkata. The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshri Nath Tripathi, the Minister for Urban Development, West Bengal, Firhad Hakim and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
In his welcome address, Dr. Gautam Samadder, President of AAPI, said, “This GHS has promised to be one with the greatest impact and significant contributions towards harnessing the power of international Indian diaspora to bring the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions to India,” described
According to Dr. Naresh Parikh, President-Elect of AAPI, who had proposed the vote of thanks, the scientific program of GHS 2017 was developed by leading experts with the contributions of a stellar Scientific Advisory Board and International Scientific Committee, while the event featuring plenary sessions, interactive round-tables, clinical practice workshops, and meet the expert sessions.
Dr. Ashok Jain, Chairman of AAPI’s BOD, in his address, summarized some of the achievements of AAPI including the 16 free healthcare clinics, AAPI’s legislative initiatives in the US, and the ongoing collaboration with the government of India and the state governments and several NGOs in helping healthcare efficient and cost effective.
The Vice President praised AAPI and its noble “mission for India is to play an important role in making quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all people of India. It is indeed a laudable objective as both accessibility and affordability are the need of the hour, especially in a vast developing country like India with a huge population of middle class and lower middle class.”
He called upon AAPI to “help in promoting the use of telemedicine in remote rural areas which lack access to healthcare facilities. Telemedicine can be used effectively in radiology, cardiology, oncology, dermatology and a few other areas. It will help in reducing unnecessary visits to the hospitals for consultations with specialists and avoiding long distance travel,” Naidu said.
Naidu said that India needs an affordable health care revenue model to meet the challenges of modern day lifestyle. The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshri Nath Tripathi, the Minister for Urban Development, West Bengal, Firhad Hakim and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

“We treat a doctor as one who takes care of our lives. Medical profession is a noble profession as doctors are serving society,” the Vice President told the nearly 1,000 delegates who had come from around the world to attend the historical Summit.

The Vice President called on the medical fraternity to put in efforts to bring down the costs of medical devices to make healthcare affordable. He further said that youngsters are increasingly falling prey to ailments due to a variety of factors, including sedentary lifestyle, improper dietary habits and job-related stresses.
“We must all focus more on the service. The medical service in India is the need of the hour. India is still lagging behind in spite of a lot of advancement in medication. The Center is encouraging private sector in the medical healthcare sector. We must also go with the PPP model,” he added.
Claiming that India has the potential to become a medical tourist center in the future, the Vice President said accessibility and affordability of healthcare should be ensured as a large section of the country`s population belongs to the middle and lower-middle class.
The Vice president said that while India is progressing economically and incomes of people are improving, the common man is unable to meet the medical bill whenever there is a medical emergency in the family. With penetration of health insurance remaining quite low and majority of the Indian population preferring to seek medical treatment from private sector in health emergencies by spending from their own pockets, this problem gets compounded, he added.
Naidu urged the Centre and state governments to invest more in the healthcare sector and educate people to get health insurance. Stating that providing proper medical service is the need of the hour, Naidu on Saturday said private sector investments and public-private Partnership (PPP) model should be encouraged more for the betterment of healthcare in the country.
“The central and the state government must together spend more in the health sector. Also people should be educated about getting health insurance. Many people in India are worried about the cost but health insurance is very much required,” Naidu said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed in expanding the medical sector and the “PM wants to have medical college in every district and trained medical staff in all these facilities”. Observing India has made great medical advancements in recent times, the Vice-President said, “India is still lagging behind in spite of the progresses”.

Pointing out that modern lifestyle has made people shun physical exercise, Naidu advocated some sort of physical exercise and spiritual activities during the day which may help keep people fresh and stress-free.  “The sedentary lifestyle of Indians have to change and doctors and scientists should educate people,” he said. Naidu said there were 69.1 million cases of diabetes in India, according to a 2015 census, and called for the need to create greater awareness among the youth about the dangers of sedentary lifestyle and eating junk food.

“The modern day lifestyle is creating serious health hazards. The doctors should indicate the people to go back to their cultural roots and follow the disciplined, systematic lifestyle. Diabetes is a major challenge faced in the country,” he said.
The Vice President said that one of the major challenges facing India is the growing incidence of diabetes in the general population and this trend needs to be arrested. He quoted a study saying diabetes was becoming common among lower socio-economic groups living in urban regions of more developed States and this is a matter of concern.
According to International Diabetes Federation, 415 million people have diabetes in the world and there were 69. 1 million cases in India as per 2015 data. Pointing to another study, Naidu said, “India’s burden of diseases has shifted from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases as incomes rose over the last 26 years. More deaths (61.8 per cent) were caused by non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2016 as against 53.6 per cent deaths due to communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases in 1990.”
The Conference was organized in partnership with the ministry of overseas Indian affairs and ministry of health and family welfare, along with collaboration with over 15 professional associations from all over the world.
The GHS 2017 featured some of the biggest names in the healthcare industry, especially at the 6th annual CEO leadership forum with leaders from across the globe. GHS 2017 is being attended by over 100 opinion leaders and expert speakers from many countries across the globe to present cutting edge scientific findings as these relate to clinical practice, representing major Centers of Excellence, Institutions, and Professional Associations are represented by the invited chairs and speakers.
The theme chosen for the GHS this year is Healthcare, Career and Commerce, with the focus on Women’s Healthcare, including high priority areas such as Cardiology, Maternal & Child Health, Diabetes, Oncology, Surgery, Mental Health, HIT, Allergy, Immunology & Lung Health, Gastroenterology, Transplant and impact of comorbidities.
Offering trainings to First Responders, a CEO Forum by a galaxy of CEOs from around the world, inauguration of AAPI-sponsored clinic, CMEs, cultural events, Dinner Cruise on the Ganges, interactive roundtables, clinical practice workshops, scientific poster/research session and meet-the-expert sessions, Women’s Forum by internally acclaimed successful worm from India, a special session on Public-Private Partnership featuring AAPI Healthcare Charitable showcase & innovation, and Town Hall sessions resulting in a White Paper on helping create policies benefitting the people of India, are only some of the major highlights of the Healthcare Summit, Dr. Samadder said.
In collaboration with the American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, AAPI organized a 3-day workshop/training (EMTC) training over 150 first responders, including police, para-medical professional at the KPC Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata as part of the GHS.
Indian Americans comprise of 4 million people, representing around 1.25% of the U.S. population as of 2015. Indians contributed 17% of total earnings in the US from foreign students totaling $6.5 billion last year. An estimated 10% of all physicians and surgeons in the US are of Indian origin. An estimated 100,000 physicians and fellows of Indian origin currently serve in the US. In biological and biomedical sciences studies workforce, data from 2015 show that people of Indian origin in the US account for 14.6% of the total workforce holding 72000 jobs.
Founded in 1984, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) represents one of the largest health  care forum in the United States with the goal to facilitate and enable Indian American Physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. AAPI-Charitable Foundation is committed to serve the poorest of the poor in remote areas of India and USA. AAPI has always been present when calamities strike whether it is hurricane Harvey, Tsunami, Katrina, or earthquakes of Gujarat and Maharashtra. AAPI has hosted ten Indo-US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations both in the US as well as in India. These summits are aimed at sharing of expertise towards improvement of healthcare in the US as well as in India.
AAPI has been strategically engaged in working with the Union and State Governments of India for the past ten years and has collaborated with more than 35 professional medical associations, pharmaceutical and medical device companies to address the health care challenges of a rapidly developing India. “It is the passion, willingness and staunch loyalty towards the former motherland that draws several AAPI members to join this effort & by working with experts in India, AAPI is able to bring solutions that are India centric & takes us closer to our lofty vision of making quality healthcare affordable & accessible to all people of India,” said Dr. Gautam Samadder.
“With the changing trends and statistics in healthcare, both in India and US, we are refocusing our mission and vision, AAPI would like to make a positive meaningful impact on the healthcare delivery system both in the US and in India,” Dr. Samadder said. For more information on Global Health Summit, please visit www.aapiusa.org

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