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AAPI’s Global Summit discusses boosting India’s healthcare quality

Kochi: The Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2013, organized by the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in collaboration with the government of India from January 1 to 3 here, discussed ways to bring the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions to India. Over 1,250 delegates from around the world, who participated in the sixth annual summit, returned home enriched by a variety of seminars, workshops, gala, and entertainment.

Described as a forum to discuss and offer ways to provide the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions to India, the various topics discussed at the summit explored the possibilities for greater collaboration and cooperation between the physicians and health care providers in India with those of Indian origin and major health care providers abroad. The international convention center at the prestigious Le Méridien in Kochi wore a festive look as the delegates from around the globe filled the Oman Hall for the inaugural ceremony on New Year’s Day.

In his welcome address, Dr. Narendra Kumar, president of AAPI and chair of GHS, said: “Your presence here today in large numbers from around the world is a testimony to your continued commitment and dedication to devote your time, skills, and resources to serve the needy and the sick, who have fewer opportunities to care for their health needs in India.”

The summit, which is a public-private initiative between the government of India and AAPI, according to Dr. Kumar, “is all about dedication and commitment of Indian-American physicians to improving healthcare in India.”

Dr. Kumar said: “This international health summit is a forum for innovative opportunities for learning, networking and giving back to our motherland by prominent and talented physicians and surgeons as well as the medical industry leaders and scientists, who are very passionate about serving the 1.2 billion people of this great nation. Aimed at advancing the accessibility, affordability and the quality of world-class healthcare, the summit will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and share ways to truly improve healthcare transcending global boundaries”

“In our efforts to realize these goals, we have successfully gained the support of several leading healthcare experts and professional physician associations, including GAPIO and AKMG to collaborate on this ground breaking international healthcare summit, designed to bring the best, most efficient and cost effective healthcare solutions to the people of India,” Dr. Kumar added

In his inaugural address, Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister for Overseas Affairs, said: “Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment.” He complimented the Indian doctors, who have made tremendous progress in the medical world and are known for their excellent and compassionate services to their patients around the world. He acknowledged the urgent need to create additional health infrastructure, which entails a higher level of investment in the Indian healthcare market in the coming years. He underlined that the government of India is committed to the ever-increasing need to invest in the healthcare system in India. He urged the pharmaceutical companies to keep the prices of life saving medicines at an affordable and accessible level to all. “No one should be denied medical treatment for want of money,” he said.

Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala, who delivered the keynote address, highlighted the Kerala model of healthcare which has resulted in the state being the leader in providing healthcare among all the states in India. He pointed to the highest life expectancy of 75, and the least infant mortality rate among all the states of India as proof of the effectiveness of Kerala’s healthcare policy over the past decades.

Advisor to the Prime Minister of India  T.K.A Nair, lauded the physicians of Indian origin for their achievements and leadership around the world. While focusing on the government’s many programs to reach healthcare to all, he urged the private sector to work and collaborate with the government to make healthcare affordable to all of India’s people.

Others who had addressed the gathering included, Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, president of American Medical Association; Dr. Emmanuel Cassimatis, president and CEO of ECFMG-USA;  Dr. Vinay Kumar, president of Indian Medical Association;  Dr. Chittaranjan Ranawat, clinical professor of orthopedic surgery, Cornell University, New York;  Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals; Dr. K.K. Talwar, chairman of Medical Council of India; and Dr. M.S. Valiathan, honorary advisor to Manipal University.

The summit was packed with several plenary sessions, interactive roundtables, clinical practice workshops, and meet-the-expert/CEOs sessions, providing an ambience of learning and inspiration. With participation from some of the world’s most well-known physicians and industry leaders, the summit proved to be very critical and significant, especially when India is increasingly becoming a destination for medical tourism.

More than 100 opinion leaders and expert speakers from across the globe presented cutting-edge scientific findings related to clinical practice, representing major centers of excellence, institutions and professional associations. For the first time at GHS, a CEO Forum representing CEOs from around the world and from hospitals, teaching institutions and major healthcare sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and technology, came  together to explore potential opportunities for collaboration. Omar Ishrak, worldwide CEO of Medtronic, Inc.,  was the keynote speaker, while the session was moderated by T.K.A. Nair. Dr. G.N. Singh, drug controller general of India, with his team was joined by leading healthcare policy makers and hospital CEOs.

During the valedictory ceremony held on January 3 at the IMA House, Kochi Dr. Narendra Kumar received a symbolic “Key” marking the launch of the Amrita Peripheral Clinic, supported by AAPI and run by AKMG.

While summarizing the outcome of the summit, Anwar Feroz, who has been instrumental in organizing the summit, said: “Through the successful summits, we have been able to influence the government of India, state and local governments and the private sector in enacting policies and programs based on the inputs and recommendations from the summit.”

 

“What we do here is going to help make policies and programs that benefit the people of this great country,” Dr. Jayesh Shah, president-elect of AAPI, said. He announced that the Seventh GHS 2014 will be held in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, from January 3-5, 2014.

AAPI is a forum 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. For more details on GHS 2013, please visit:  http://www.aapighsindia.org