June 16, 2009

Indian-American doctors pledge to improve India's health care

Indian-American physicians pledged here to work to improve the health care system in India by entering into partnership with their counterparts in the country and its government, which they said would be their contribution to their motherland.

The Indian-American doctors, who participated the 27th annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) yesterday, said it is time that they make their collective efforts to ensure that basic health care facilities - the best of the world - is accessible and affordable to the poorest of the poor in the country.

Even as some of them shared some of their bitter experiences of trying to launch various projects in this regard in India, AAPI leaders said they were determined to work in this regard despite hurdles.

The leaders said they would vigorously pursue the annual Indo-US Health Care summit they had launched two years ago to channelise their efforts to this effect.

"India is a very difficult place to work, because it takes a long time," acknowledged Dr Navin Shah, a former AAPI president.

Sharing his own experience of trying to implement projects related to infectious diseases and trauma care, Shah asked his fellow Indian American physicians to have patience in their endeavour.

"Put the best of America there. Let us do major thing. It is not difficult. Persistence and of course, contacts, and dedication is important. Whether it is AAPI or individual, let's pull all together, and do something good for our motherland," Dr Shah said.

The incoming AAPI president, Dr Vinod Shah, who is running a few health care projects in Gujarat said there is desire among the Indian-American doctors to "give back" what they have achieved here.

"If we communicate, take steps and re-energise and take town after town, village after village, I think we can do very meaningful work back home," he said.

Observing that the back home Indian health care system or Indian doctors usually have negative approach to any foreign doctor or foreign health system, another physician urged AAPI to take the lead in reforming medical education in India, including residency program.

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