The Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), a non-profit organization, and leading association for the Indian medical diaspora organised its annual Global Indian Physicians Congress on February 27th – 28th 2021. The Congress is an important event in the medical calendar where the exchange of knowledge from subject specialists from across the world takes place. This year’s virtual conference provided an international forum to delegates to share their knowledge and exchange ideas on clinical skill development, solutions to contemporary health issues and modernizing the approach to delivering healthcare.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Hon’ble Health Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was Chief Guest. In a video message, Dr. Harsh Vardhan praised GAPIO, as a shining example of the talent and caliber of Indian physicians who have made remarkable contributions in various fields of medicine across the globe.
Praising the contribution of medical professionals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “As the world faced the unprecedented crisis of COVID19, it has been our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers who have cemented their position as the foremost champions of humanity, saving humankind as it was staring at an existential crisis.” The Minister also praised India’s efforts domestically and internationally and commended the physicians, nurses, and scientists involved in fighting the pandemic. India can greatly benefit from GAPIO’s support, he emphasized and concluded by complimenting the awardees for their outstanding work.
“I am so proud to be part of GAPIO, a great organization with the mission to bring together 1.4 million physicians of Indian origin on one professional platform,” said GAPIO Secretary General USA and Chairman and Publisher of Parikh World Wide Media and ITV Gold 24×7 TV Channel in the U.S., Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, at the Congress. “This was a great event. From the time it was started in 2011, GAPIO is now in 53 countries. Not only does it provide a professional platform to more than 1 million Indian physicians, it also brings all the resources they have to offer to impact the much greater philanthropic work we can do in India and around the world,” Dr. Parikh told News India Times.
Since its inception in 2011 GAPIO has endeavored to bring 1.4 million physicians of Indian origin across the world on a single platform to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills and research. This was the 11th edition of the Congress. More than 5000 participants from USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Middle East, Africa, UAE, India and other countries participated in the Congress, making it one of the largest such events in the world.
The GAPIO Congress featured highly qualified medical professionals and leaders from around the world, and an award ceremony for those who have excelled in their areas of expertise, including young physicians.
Founder President of GAPIO and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group Dr. Prathap C Reddy, said, “The exemplary work by the awardees is an inspiration for others to emulate. The spirit of the physicians of Indian origin to excel in India and overseas is what we hope to recognize.
There are countless examples of pathbreaking work across the globe that would make every Indian proud. COVID-19 has once again shown the important role played by physicians of Indian origin in handling global health crises. The valuable lessons learnt from these clinical leaders will form part of the deliberations. The need for innovation and cross-systemic learning is more important than ever before. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, India and the world at large are facing an epidemic of non-communicable diseases – NCDs like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We seek involvement of everyone to overcome this biggest challenge to mankind posed by COVID-19 and NCDs.”
President of GAPIO and Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Consultant Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist Dr. Anupam Sibal, said, “From supporting liver transplantation to pioneering cardiac surgery to establishing high-end lab services to excelling in rheumatology to introducing geriatric care to performing complex arthroplasty in a rural setting, the awardees represent the spectrum of path-breaking achievements.
“Remarking on the young physician’s category, Vice President GAPIO and CEO cum Chairman of Columbia Asia Group of Hospitals Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, said, “The awardees in the Young category represent the aspirations of the Young Indian Physician who is willing to take on challenges to improve the delivery of care, while excelling in academics and research. Research and innovation can improve the delivery of quality healthcare in India to the last mile. As the country braces to overcome its myriad health challenges, this Congress will help identify methodologies most suitable to skill and scale the healthcare workforce in the country.”
Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Secretary General of GAPIO and Chairman and Publisher of Parikh World Wide Media and ITV Gold 24×7 TV Channel in USA, said, “Global health challenges need global solutions, and we believe through GAPIO we will evolve constructive and tangible ways of ensuring that healthcare is affordable and accessible to all citizens.”
The award winners in the Distinguished Category, each of whom receives Rs. 100,000, a citation, and a trophy include:
- Pravin Agarwal (Mr Pravin Agarwal Foundation) for Dr. Prathap C Reddy Philanthropy award
- Rohini Handa for the Dr. IA Modi Award
• Navin Dang for GAPIO Excellence in Diagnostics Award
- Maligail Ramkrishna Girinath for GAPIO Karl Storz Surgical Excellence Award
- VS Natarajan for GAPIO Lifetime achievement award.
Dr. Madan Mohan Reddy received the GAPIO Special Appreciation Award for his pathbreaking work in delivering orthopedic care including joint replacements in villages.
The award winners in Young Category each of whom receives Rs. 50,000, a citation and a trophy, include:
- Sonali M Khobragade and Dr. Purvi Parikh (joint winners) for Dr. IA Modi Award
- Nishat Hussain Ahmed for GAPIO Excellence in Diagnostics Award
- Susovan Banerjee for GAPIO Excellence in Radiology/ Radiation Therapy Award
- Bhavuk Garg for GAPIO Karl Storz Surgical Excellence Award.
Karl Storz provides an endoscope to the winner of the Storz Surgical Excellence Award.
Speakers at the well-attended event included
Dr. Sathyaki Nambala, India, senior consultant and chief of Cardiac Surgery, Apollo Hospital, Bangalore;
Dr. Jatin Shah, USA, professor of surgery at Cornell Medical College, New York;
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, India, founder, chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited;
Dr. Arun Garg, Canada, consultant medical biochemist at Royal Columbian Hospital, Canada and President of Canada India Network Society (CINS);
Dr. Sanjay Patole, Australia, senior neonatologist, KEM Hospital for Women in Perth, Western Australia;
Dr. Sandeep Guleria, India, senior consultant, Renal Transplant surgeon at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi;
Dr. OM Ganda, USA, senior physician and medical director, Lipid Clinic – Joslin Diabetes Center, and also associate professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School;
Dr. Venkataraman Sundareswaran, USA, fellow – Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation at World Economic Forum;
Dr. Mani Menon, USA, robotic surgeon and one of the foremost Urologists in the United States; and
Dr. Senthil Seniyappan, UK, consultant paediatric endocrinologist, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool.