Bangalore: Dr Navin Shah, former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin told Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in a recent meeting that the Indian Government is trying to hinder the efforts by Indian American doctors to help the health sector in India.
Shah also added that "event for projects like Infectious Disease specialty training and emergency medical services and trauma centres, which will save the lives of tens of thousands of Indians and for which US-based physicians had come up with funding for the scholarships and the training of Indian medical personnel, the government actions are dangerously sluggish."
There are various programmes which are ready for execution in India, such as the US-India Physicians Exchange Programme, infectious disease specialty training in India, emergency medical services and trauma centers in Maharashtra and the reservoir of United States alumni of Indian medical colleges intended to improve the medical education and health care in India. But for the implementation of these programmes, the authorities concerned should take the essential steps so as to remove the obstacles and make the implementation smoother.
According to Shah "the US has successful practice models in health areas which can be easily replicated to benefit millions of patients in India, more so with help of US physicians volunteer's services and expertise if only there is an institutionalization of the decisions that had already been approved."
Shah said these problems occurred "by the other intriguing factor, which is the lack of demand and enthusiasm of Indian medical officials and medical bodies in instituting state-of-art healthcare that can be accessible all, mainly to the more than 500 million members of the lower strata of the society who cannot afford modern medical care or private hospitalization."
Shah told Azad, "It is only through the government's efficient, transparent and accountable decisions and prompt actions along with robust public and medical communities' demand for improved medical services that India will be able to drastically reduce mortalities and morbidities in patients, and that thousands of Indian American physicians are waiting for the green light to implement these programmes, most at their own cost."
Out of frustration, some Indian American physicians have decided that it is better to work within their communities in U.S., rather than trying to execute programmes in India.