Ohio Guv seeks Indian-American doctors' help

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New York, Feb 3 (UNI) Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio has sought the cooperation of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in improving health care facilities in the state.

''AAPI should help us focus better on prevention strategy and look into health care disparity among ethnic divisions and geographic locations,'' the Governor told an annual meeting recently of the AAPI, considered the largest and most influential organisation of its kind in the US.

Ohio has strong health care providers, doctors and hospitals such as Cleveland Clinic, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, he said and praised the efforts of the physicians of Indian origin involved in the health care delivery to residents of Ohio.

Ohio accounts for about 25 per cent of all clinical trials conducted in the US and the AAPI could play a leading role in consolidating this position, the governor added.

The Indian-American population in Ohio went up from 21,000 in the 1990s to about 40,000 in 2000, projecting an 86 per cent increase. More than 75 per cent of Indians form part of the few educated ethnic groups in Ohio.

The State of Ohio plans to open an office in New Delhi to attract investments and businesses from India, said the Governor.

AAPI President Hemant Patel said the organisation is now stable and poised for greater growth. He urged AAPI chapters to undertake membership drive and grass- roots level meetings to attract more physicians.

Dr Patel said access to affordable and quality health care should be available to all Americans regardless of their socio-economic status.

Indian-American doctors are worried over the lack of coverage for so many of our patients especially in rural parts of America, he said, adding, ''We want to be able to provide quality health care for the currently 47 million Americans that lack it.'' The AAPI was now forging alliances and crossing global boundaries to reach out to the common man.

Dr Patel narrated the first ever Indo-US health care summit in New Delhi and the appreciation from the President Pratiba Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the leading role played by the AAPI.

The organisation is committed to working with Indian physicians to improve health care. AAPI had organised a mammoth first-ever Indo-US Healthcare Summit in New Delhi in partnership with Indian Medical Association and the Medical Council of India, attended by more than 350 physicians from India and about 85 physicians from the US.

UNI XC SYU ND0950

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