Washington, March 27:
An influential body of Indian-American physicians is pressing US lawmakers on several issues including how to continue to provide healthcare to patients while being rewarded in a just and sustainable way.
Other issues raised by members of the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at its legislative day reception Wednesday on the Capitol Hill, seat of US Congress, included immigration reform, implementation of Affordable Care Act and growing US-India relations.
Attended by nearly two dozen lawmakers, the annual event brought together over 120 delegates from across the US from the largest ethnic organisation of physicians, representing over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, according to a media release.
In his keynote address, India’s ambassador to the US, S. Jaishankar, praised the Indian American community, and in particular the physicians of Indian origin, for their role in transforming Indo-US relations.
He emphasized the key role AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summits have made in transforming the delivery of healthcare system in India.
“If India has changed, the credit goes to you the physicians of Indian origin,” he was quoted as saying.
“You have made a change in the perception of India in the US by your hard work, commitment and great achievements,” Jaishankar said.
Jim McDermott, Democratic co-chair of India Caucus in the US House, acknowledged the “need to fix to the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula”.
“AAPI has been seeking to collectively shape the best health care for the people of US, with the physician at the helm, caring for the medically underserved as we have done for several decades when physicians of Indian origin came to the US in larger numbers,” said AAPI president Jayesh Shah.
Ami Bera, the lone Indian American physician in the US Congress, shared his own personal experience of growing up to be a physician and how he got elected in a district that has only one percent of Indian Americans.
“My story is your story and our story is that of the entire nation’s,” he said.
Bera praised AAPI for its agenda for future working towards having as many as 20 Indian American Congressmen in the next two decades.