Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, while addressing American Association of Physicians Of Indian Origin members, promised Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s approval within 15 days if Indian-American doctors apply online for the area of choice where they want to serve. Rediff.com’s Aziz Haniffa reports from San Antonio.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who keynoted the gala dinner of the AAPI at the organisation’s 32nd annual convention held in San Antonio, called on Indian-American physicians to serve and teach in India.
Dr Vardhan, who launched the Swasth India online portal that showcases medical advances and newest technologies, also promised his government’s approval within 15 days if Indian-American doctors apply online for the area of choice where they want to serve.
“Before leaving on this trip,” Dr Vardhan said, “I had written to the Medical Council of India that existing bottlenecks should be eased and if permission is held up beyond 15 days, then it should be deemed automatically granted”.
Dr Vardhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government “is committed to taking all possible measures to create a healthy India, where all citizens, irrespective of their economic standing, have access to quality health care. Our endeavour is to bring a complete transformation of our health system through research, innovation and latest technology. As leading members of the physicians’ community across the USA, AAPI can play a significant role in strengthening our efforts to create a healthy India”.
He exhorted the over 1,000 physicians in the audience and those in “the Indian Diaspora to avail this historic opportunity to contributing to realising this dream”.
He conceded the plethora of problems in India, and noted that millions of children “are deprived of basic vaccines”.
“Let us think of ways to realise this,” he said, and noted, “given our association, it will not only strengthen your bond with India, but also provide you with a unique opportunity to transform the lives of many. I am confident all of you will continue to make India proud”.
Dr Vardhan said the Modi government’s “focus is to go beyond health insurance to health assurance, and for that we need to focus on preventive health care where public participation has a major role to play”.
He urged AAPI members to come to India and conduct Continuing Medical Education programmes in India, share the latest technology and knowledge including telemedicine, lend their expertise in fighting infectious and non-communicable diseases, and continue to help in developing health-care clinics and primary health centers.
“The prime minister has authorised me to come up with a brand new policy,” Dr Vardhan said, “and I need your help to write this all-important document”.
“For the first time,” he said, “we have a prime minister who is committed to serving every mother and child, every Indian young and old, with free and clean hospitals, generic medicines, rational drug policy, health lifestyles and most importantly, enough doctors”.
Image: Dr Harsh Vardhan, center, at the AAPI convention