“Let us develop a structural relationship between AAPI and the government of India,” Honorable Shri Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister for Health, told the hundreds of international delegates, at the 13thannual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2019 on July 21st. Organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) that serves as an umbrella organization for more than 160 member associations nationwide, GHS 2019 offers a platform to nearly 100,000 physicians of Indian origin it represents, to explore ways to giving back to their motherland.
“It is your love for your motherland that has brought you here today,” Dr. Vardhan said as the audience cheered him loudly. While describing them as leading luminaries, excelling in the medical field, contributing to make a positive impact in the healthcare sector through their dedication, commitment, knowledge and skills, who treat every 7th patient in the US, Dr. Vardhan, who is a physician himself, said, “We are optimistic about making a positive change in the health scenario of India, where we are seeking to have a high quality, affordable healthcare to all of our citizens.”
He proposed that each AAPI member return to one’s place of birth and identify the local needs of the place and invest one’s time and resources and talents and skills there in order to make a positive impact on the health of your native place. “If AAPI has a project in its efforts to enhance the healthcare system in India, the Ministry of Health will collaborate and provide all possible support to it,” the Minister promised the AAPI delegates who had come from around the United States to participate in the 13th edition of the Global Healthcare Summit in Hyderabad.
Dr. Suresh Reddy, President of AAPI, said, “Many of the physicians who will attend this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. The GHS offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services,” he said.
Dr. Seema Arrora, Chair of AAPI’s BOT, said, “This international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. Providing a forum for innovative opportunities for learning, networking and giving back to our motherland that have now enabled us to plan ahead and prepare for an outstanding event with 200 very prominent and talented physicians and surgeons from abroad, in addition to the hundreds of physicians from India, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, mother India,” she added.
In his introductory welcome address, Dr. Ajay Lodha, Past President of AAPI, reminded the Minister that the Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) has come to be recognized as been a very unique and a truly pioneering effort to address areas of concern which are of significant consequences on health care scenario in India. Past summits have identified areas of mutual interest and also integrated advancements of healthcare facilities in India besides ways and means of tackling long term concerns leading to long-term collaborations. He reminded the audience of many outcomes of the Summit, which have resulted in establishing free medical care clinics across India, medical camps, and establishing of India-centric guidelines for management of Hepatitis C, Brain Injury and Trauma. He urged the Government of India to “support our initiatives and thus help us help the healthcare needs of our motherland, India.”
The nation’s growing wealth has yet to find a panacea for India’s overburdened public health care system.
Acknowledging that there is a dichotomy in India, which is a huge challenge for the government and its more than a billion people, Dr. Vardhan said that “even as we grow economically to be a powerful nation, healthcare is a huge challenge. There is an urgent need to enhance the healthcare delivery in India.”
Seeking collaboration and participation from AAPI in every possible area in the large healthcare sector in India, Dr. Vardhan referred to how Indian pharma companies have made a name for themselves for making drugs affordable around the world and saving Billions of Dollars for the people and the many governments around the world. “You know the needs of the nation. Now, it’s your responsibility to see where your expertise and services will fit in and how you can make a positive impact in the healthcare system in India,” the Minister told the AAPI delegates.
During his address, Dr. Harsh Vardhan presented an overview of the healthcare needs of the country and suggested several areas where AAPI could collaborate with the government of India, including establishing Memorandum of Understanding with international organizations, which will support healthcare in India; Transferring advanced research and experiences in the medical field and enhance the quality of medical education in India; Organizing healthcare/medical camps in rural and economically backward regions of the nation; and, addressing hygienic and preventive measures and enhancing the healthcare delivery in India.
Speaking on Ayushman Bharat, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that “we will consider expanding eligibility criteria to include those poor and vulnerable people who have been left out from the current list of PMJAY”. He stated that concerted efforts will be made for empanelling more private hospitals. Also, that the Government will resolve the bottlenecks in the implementation of Ayushman Bharat and make it more handy and easily accessible for the common man. “We will make Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) into a people’s movement. The focus will be on consolidating both the streams of Ayushman Bharat, he added.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised to make health a ‘Jan Andolan’ through people’s involvement. He said that we can provide maximum possible help through this Ministry as there is instant benefit to the people. He further added that India has the potential and capacity for fulfilling the goal of ‘Health for All’.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also laid emphasis on elimination of TB from India by 2025 and said that the government will also take concerted and time-bound actions to eliminate Leprosy and Kala Azar. He added that the government will create a roadmap for essential devices list and a separate policy for medical devices focusing on their accessibility and affordability to masses. “We are committed to leveraging all resources efficiently to ensure that the out-of-pocket expenditure on health is reduced and all citizens can avail of necessary medical services,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan elaborated.
GHS 2019, a three-day event began with the inaugural address by Honorable Shri Venkiah Naidu, India’s Vice President, and had as many as 300 participants from India and abroad, attending the annual Summit, and identifying ways to give back to their motherland, India.
The GHS 2019 displays how well the Indian doctors have shown themselves as an effective force in the medical world in USA. With the objective of enabling people in India to access high quality, affordable, and cost-effective world class health services, the Summit is being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs & Ministry of Health, and has participation from some of the world’s most well-known physicians and industry leaders.
Many of the physicians who are attending this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. The GHS offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services. For more details on AAPI and its numerous initiatives, please visit: www.appiusa.org