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Indian-American doctor at helm of Ebola response team

world Updated: Oct 25, 2014 00:27 IST

An eminent Indian-American physician has been appointed to lead New York's medical response team to tackle Ebola after another doctor tested positive for the deadly virus.

Dr Ramanathan Raju was appointed earlier this year by Mayor Bill de Blasio as New York City's Commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), a network which has a dozen hospitals.

Raju assured city residents that focus was on providing "excellent care" to the patient and to protect hospital employees looking after him.

Acknowledging the Indian-American physician for his leadership, the mayor said here today that Raju efficiently runs the hospital system and is "prepared" to deal with the health emergency.

Craig Spencer, 33, is a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea and returned to the US last week. He tested positive for Ebola and is currently "hospitalised in isolation" at the Bellevue Hospital.

Bellevue Hospital is one of eight New York State hospitals that Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated to treat Ebola patients.

The Mayor said Bellevue Hospital is Raju's "flagship" as he outlined the city's preparedness to deal with the crisis.

Addressing reporters, Raju said that in his 30 years of working in the health care field, he has "never seen such unprecedented collaboration between agencies".

He said that health care personnel were able to "successfully" take Spencer from the community to Bellevue's isolation ward "in a seamless fashion with no panic".

Noting that collaboration and practice works, Raju said he is confident that the Ebola patient will get "excellent care".

Outlining the goals for his hospital system in treating Spencer, Raju said the focus is on providing excellent care for the patient and to ensure that hospital employees are protected so that they take adequate precaution while taking care of Spencer.

"I am absolutely confident that both will be achieved. We are ready to take care of the patient," he said.

Chennai-native Raju is a respected physician who has led some of the US' largest and most complex health care systems.