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Global Healthcare Summit organized

Mumbai: The Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao today praised the contribution of American doctors of Indian origin in America’s healthcare system and appealed to them to involve themselves in teaching, research and continuing medical education programme in India. More than 1200 medical experts from USA, UK and India attended the conference. 1 (2) The Governor also called for curbing misleading advertisements appearing on television that promise magic cure for diabetes and other ailments. The Governor was speaking at the inauguration of the 9th Global Healthcare Summit organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in Mumbai on Friday (2 Jan). AAPI is the largest non profit medical organization in the united States representing 100,000 physicians, residents and medical students of India origin. 1 (1) Addressing the gathering of Indian doctors and specialists from America visiting India, the Governor appealed to them to give their suggestions to address lifestyle diseases like diabetes that have assumed menacing proportions in India. The Governor also expressed the need to curb misleading advertisements appearing on television that promise ‘magic cures’ for diabetes. 1 (3)(1) President of AAPI Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar said that one in seven Americans is treated by Indian doctors. Former Chief Secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia and President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Dr Ravi Jahagirdar also addressed the gathering. Focus to shift from ‘sick care’ to ‘healthcare’ The Government plans to shift the focus from ‘sick care’ to ‘healthcare’ and reduce the need for hospitalization/ tertiary care. Focus will now be on comprehensive and holistic Primary Health Care including preventive and promotive health to improve health and reduce healthcare expenditure. The idea is to empower every person to be an agent of positive health, at individual and community level, and help create a “Social Movement for Health”. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda stated this during his keynote address at the ‘Global Health Summit: Access and Affordable Healthcare for People of India’, organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), at Mumbai today. Addressing the gathering, the Union Health Minister said that while many measures have been taken in the health sector to strengthen the infrastructure in the states under the National Health Mission (NHM), many challenges still need to be effectively addressed. The Minister stated that providing access to quality healthcare at affordable rates remains a challenge. Equity, access and affordability of quality health care to all, particularly to the poorest, is a challenge that the government is acutely seized of, he said. He added that meeting pocket expenditure on healthcare is a priority for the government. Another matter of concern is the shortage of manpower in terms of doctors, nurses and para-medical staff to enable effective delivery of healthcare services, particularly to the rural, remote and inaccessible areas of the country where the need for healthcare is felt the most. The burden on non-communicable diseases, also known as lifestyle diseases, when the disease burden on account of communicable diseases and MCH care has not been adequately addressed has further stressed the healthcare system in the country, the Minister said. health Within this context, the Minister stated that the involvement and contribution of the doctors associated with AAPI is not only welcome but much needed. Shri J P Nadda called upon the members of AAPI to come every year and devote at least a week to 10 days in the service of the country in remote and inaccessible areas. He said that AAPI as an organisation should also explore the possibility of tele-education on the latest advancements in the medical field. AAPI can consider entering into MoUs in healthcare with different national agencies and share its vast and useful knowledge with the country. Additionally, they can explore how they can contribute to the healthcare of underserved areas such as slums where the hygiene levels are very poor and healthcare is a critical need. He said that the ministry will be happy to support in whatever way required in this initiative. The Minister stated that the draft of the newly formulated National Health Policy has been placed in public domain recently (www.mohfw.nic.in). He welcomed inputs from health professionals from across the world to enrich the Policy. The Minister stated that “There is a need to evolve innovative and cost effective solutions to achieve the aspirations of our billion people. It is our responsibility to ponder upon such ways and means to improve quality, equity, efficiency and accountability of healthcare systems for the large and common benefit of our people. I urge you to share the global best practices, technologies and cutting edge research that can be suited to our context.” He further stated that the Health Ministry would be happy to partner with knowledge management agencies including public health institutions for building capacity in the healthcare sector.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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