India’s Vice President Naidu Lauds Indian American Physicians For Being ‘Ambassadors Of Indian Value Systems’

“With numerous initiatives, AAPI has proved to be beneficial not only to Indian-origin American Physicians, but to Indian healthcare as well,” Mr. Naidu tells AAPI Delegates at 15th annual Global Health Care Summit in Hyderabad

(Hyderabad, India: January 5th, 2022) The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu praised Indian origin medical professionals for “making their mark in every corner of the world” and being the “personification of our nation’s civilizational value of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”

Mr. Naidu was addressing the international delegates from the United States and India during the 15th Annual Global Healthcare Summit 2022 being organized by American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at the AVASA Hotel in the historic city of Hyderabad on January 5, 2022.

“With numerous initiatives, AAPI has come a long way since its inception and has proved to be beneficial not only to Indian-origin American Physicians, but to Indian healthcare as well,” Mr. Naidu observed. He urged the medical fraternity and told them, “as you seek excellence in human health and well-being, do not forget the power of a kind human touch when treating your patients.”

Expressing regrets for not being able to be present in person due to the ongoing pandemic, Mr. Naidu told the hundreds of delegates in a recorded inaugural message stated that the Indian origin physicians in the United States have gained a formidable reputation and that several of them occupy the top administrative positions in the country. “They are among the most successful ambassadors of India’s value systems.” he said.

The Vice President complimented AAPI for its services in India – for raising $5 million during the second wave of the pandemic, for its ‘Adopt a Village’ program among its other initiatives.

The Vice President of India noted that “AAPI, founded in 1982, is one of the largest groups that represent the interests of more than 80,000 practicing Indian-origin physicians in the United States and 40,000 medical students, residents and fellows of Indian origin.”

In her welcome address, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President of AAPI, said, “This year’s Summit is focused on the theme: “Prevention is better than cure” through Technology, Telemedicine, and Transformation from the current disease-care system to a preventive healthcare system.” Dr. Gotimukula, who has chosen to focus on the “Adopt a Village” Rural Preventive Healthcare screening initiative, stated that “AAPI has brought to the attention of the Government of India the need for preventive health care screening to help detect diseases at an early stage and our purpose of the Global health summit is to interact and collaborate with Government of India and emphasize the need of annual preventive healthcare screening and have the healthcare accessible and affordable.”

She thanked Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair GHS, Dr. Dwarakanatha Reddy, Convener India, Dr. Sujeeth Punnam, US Coordinator, Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair Global Medical Education, Ms. Vijaya Kodali, AAPI Office Manager, and my entire planning committees for dedicating their personal time and spending countless hours in shaping the conference well.” The official GHS Souvenir was presented to the leadership by Dr. Anupama Gotimukula.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Udaya Shivangi said, “This annual tradition is a way of sharing, caring and giving back our medical expertise to our motherland. The theme of this year’s summit is “Prevention is Better than Cure”. Using Technology and Telemedicine as a platform we can make healthcare more accessible, Transforming the healthcare approach from Disease Care to Preventive Care.”

“We thank all the AAPI Members who are sparing their valuable time to come over to Hyderabad in order to attend this event, despite the ongoing situation of the existence of Omicron and travel restrictions. We really appreciate this gesture of courage and confidence displayed by you on behalf of Local Org. Committee, for braving odds and attending the 15th Annual AAPI GHS, Hyderabad. This is highly admirable,” said Dr. D. Dwarakanatha Reddy, India Chair, AAPI GHS 2022.

Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect f AAPI said, “We have made great strides in helping people to live longer, however, people are spending too many years in poor health, and these gains in health not felt equally across society. We need to focus on the rising levels of obesity, mental illness, addictions, age-related conditions like dementia, and a growing, ageing, and diverse populations, often living with multiple and chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. We also need to be aware of cyberbullying, pervasive misinformation and other harmful social media influences affecting our youth.”

“Continuing with our magnificent efforts to help our motherland, members of AAPI, the premier medical organization in the United States has initiated Adopt-A-Village, a Rural Health Initiative in India, with plans to adopt 75 villages to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence,” said  Dr. Satheesh Kathula, the Secretary of AAPI and the Chair of AAPI’s Adopt A Village Program.

Dr. Krishan Kumar, Treasurer of AAPI, pointed out, “India, thus needs to redouble and continue its efforts and dedicate resources to tackle these perennial challenges. Many of these projects and programs need regular funding, and management of resources. We are grateful to dozens of AAPI members who have committed to serve India with an ongoing commitment.”

Mr. Naidu lauded the contributions of API, stating, “I am happy to know that  during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, AAPI members had raised $5 million in a short time to support relief activities including sending life-saving equipment such as oxygen concentrators and ventilators” and that “AAPI team is working on installing oxygen plants in hospitals serving rural India, with some of these units having been commissioned already.”

He commended “this initiative because improving the infrastructure for rural healthcare is the pressing need of the hour in our country.” He expressed appreciation as “AAPI has started an ‘Adopt a Village’ pilot program to provide free health screening camps in villages across five states—Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Telangana. I am told they are planning vaccination camps in India with the help of local doctors, to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy. These are commendable initiatives indeed.”

Calling it an important initiative, he praised AAPI for its “awareness program for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). At a time of increasing share of Non-Communicable Diseases, especially those related to the heart, we need greater awareness among people to apply CPR as a lifesaving first-aid technique and save lives during heart attacks or near drowning. I believe school children, at least at higher secondary level, and in fact, every citizen, must be taught CPR along with other basic aspects of first-aid,” her added.

“Apart from being the ‘pharmacy to the world’ with path-breaking innovations in the pharmaceuticals industry, India has over the years, become a much sought after ‘medical tourism destination of the world’. Data reveals that nearly 7 lakh foreign tourists came for medical treatment in India in the year 2019 alone,” Mr. Naidu pointed out.

Mr. Naidu stated that “Indian medical professionals—doctors, nurses and technicians have been making their mark in every corner of the world and have been offering invaluable services for many decades now. It is estimated that there are 1.4 million physicians of Indian origin all over the world.”  Several of them occupy the top administrative positions in the medical field in the country, including Dr Vivek Murthy, the present Surgeon-General of the United States, among others.

These Indian-origin physicians are a personification of our nation’s cherished civilisational value of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. They are among the most successful ambassadors of India’s value systems and propagators of our mission to ‘Share and Care’ for all the people of the world, irrespective of their nationalities. We are indeed proud of them and their services.

Noting that Indian firms have collaborated with US-based organizations to produce the recently approved vaccines — Corbevax and Covovax, the Vice President said “this experience clearly shows India-US collaboration in healthcare can reap great benefits not only for our countries, but for the entire world”.

In the midst of a possible 3rd wave of Covid infections, Naidu called for a sense of urgency in dealing with the new surge in COVID cases and to apply the lessons of the past waves of the pandemic. “We must consider it our ‘Dharma’ and ‘Kartavya’ to follow the COVID protocol at all times – wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and getting vaccinated, and secure ourselves and our community.”

He called upon public-minded individuals, social advocacy groups, medical professionals and the government to reach out to as many people as possible and get rid of any vaccine hesitancy that may be stopping India in its collective fight against the pandemic.

To bridge the gap between urban and rural communities, the Vice President suggested seriously exploring the use of telehealth and other technological solutions in reaching out better to rural and remote areas. “This will expand the utilization of our limited manpower and health infrastructure to reach the last mile,” he said.

Pointing to the many health-tech start-ups in India, Mr. Naidu suggested scaling up their healthcare services for rural areas, so that the geographical barriers may be overcome and out-of-pocket expenditures are rationalized. He observed that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, with a digitized record of the patient’s medical history, will boost these efforts.

The historic Global Healthcare Summit, especially during the challenging C ovid situation around the world, organized by AAPI in collaboration with the Government of India, BAPIO & GAPIO, as well as Host Alumni Chapters, including OGKTMA, ATMGUSA, KAMCOSA, and GMCGA, will have participation from some of the world’s most well-known physicians, and industry leaders.

Offering education to First Responders, a CEO Forum by a galaxy of CEOs from around the world, inauguration of AAPI-sponsored clinic, CMEs, Research contests, Med Quiz, cultural events, 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 session on Public-Private Partnership featuring AAPI Healthcare Charitable showcase & innovation, are only some of the major highlights of the Healthcare Summit.

“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. Gotimukula said. For more information on Global Health Summit, please visit www.aapiusa.org

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