US-India Leaders Summit Discusses America’s Healthcare Challenges and Solutions, Trade and Security Issues Impacting Both Nations
(Washington, D.C. – September 19th, 2019): The growing influence of physicians 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 carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.
In this context, and as the nation continues its debate on reforming of the Healthcare system in the nation, AAPI has taken on itself yet another role and be a vital part of policy making. Led by Dr. Suresh Reddy, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) led the discussions on ways to make healthcare delivery affordable, accessible and efficient at the first ever US-India Leaders’ Summit at The National Press Club in Washington, DC on September 18, 2019.
The entire leadership of AAPI was present at the day long Summit by US-based International Leaders Summit at the US-India Leaders Summit to discuss policies addressing America’s skyrocketing healthcare costs, trade and security threats impacting both nations with a combined population of 1.6 billion people.
International Leaders Summit’s partners included Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin representing 80,000 Indian American physicians and TiE DC, a chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs.
Addressed by Ambassador Amit Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India in Washington, DC, the Summit was attended by US lawmakers, policy makers, media leaders, corporate and healthcare industry leaders, and leaders of global financial institutions, who debated on ways to make healthcare affordable, accessible, and high quality.
Dr. Suresh Reddy stated that the United States has the best quality healthcare in the world. Accessibility of high quality care is the best in the US. He pointed to access to stroke treatment, which is not available anywhere in the world. Dr. Reddy, said, “Nowhere in the world is Medicare and Medicaid that makes healthcare accessible to millions as it is being done in the United States. He pointed out how without money and insurance, millions of people are denied life saving medical treatment, while in the United states, they get the treatment first and financial ability is addressed after the patient is given the treatment. According to him, the problems faces by healthcare sector include, high cost, abuse of services, insurance and defensive medicine.
Dr. Seema Arora, Chair of AAPI’s BOT, said, “Market based system improves opportunities and risks. Business models that we have today work towards cost cutting and downsizing, which affect quality, affordability and accessibility.” She said, in order to offer comprehensive healthcare, there is a need to integrate both the government and private partnership.
Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President-Elect of AAPI, highlighted the role of government in 10 areas in improving health care quality and safety in the United States. He pointed to examples of proposed federal actions to reduce medical errors and enhance patient safety are provided to illustrate 10 general roles: (1) the regulation of the purchase of health care, (2) the regulation of provision of health care, (3) ensure access to quality care for vulnerable populations, (4) the regulation of health care markets, (5) supporting research and acquisition of new knowledge, (6) development and evaluation of health technologies and practices, (7) monitoring health care quality, (8) informing health care decision makers, (9) development of the health care workforce, and (10) providing framework and venues to convene stakeholders from across the health care industry.
Dr. Ravi Kolli, Secretary of AAPI, referred to the issues of: Shortage of MDs, growing aging population; chronic healthcare problems; and reimbursement of primary care. He advocated for increase in medical school and residency slots to go up, while working on the scope of Telemedicine and encouraging of alternate practiceners to make healthcare holistic and affordbale to all.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of the AAPI Legislative Committee, drew the attention of the delgates abot the H1B Visas for Physicians. He reminded the delegates of the concerted efforts with several US senators, on the need to pass the Bill 260 in Senate, which was introduced and is awaiting acceptance by the Senate members. He said, the US House has overwhelmingly passed an immigration Bill which places them apart from the H1B category, enabling them to get visas to work without the limitations of H1B.
Dr. Udaya Shivangi spoke about the ways to lowering the cost of medications. While recognizing that the cost of healthcare is complex and that medications are most expensive in the US, she pointed out that many pharma companies are overcharging customers for new drugs while not using the cheaper drugs that are already in the market.
Dr. Radhu Aggarwal spoke about the challenges to expect when a patient goes to see a doctor. Unexpected expenses for medical cost have destroyed familes. Merger of hospital has provided limited access and has raised the cost of healthcare. ”We need to control the cost of drugs. Lower the malpractice insurance,” he said.
Dr. Anil Yallpagadda advocated for popularizing Telemedicine, which can be a crucial solution to rural needs. Many rural hospitals are bankrupt and people are missing the treatment they badly need. He said.
Among others who were part of the discussion included Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Dr. Raj Bhayani and several other AAPI leaders. Joel Anand Samy, co-founder and president, International Leaders Summit, in his welcome address, set the tone for a more engaging relationship between the two nations.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Legislative Committee Chairman, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, said, “Today’s event is the culmination of many months of preparation and planning by Joel Anand Samy, co-founder and president, International Leaders Summit and Natasha Srdoc, MBA, co-founder and CEO, International Leaders Summit, Dr. Suresh Reddy, the Dynamic Leader of AAPI, who rendered whole hearted support, and a host of other key players.”