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AAPI likely to aid rural medicare project in India

The forum plans to sign an MoU during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Hyderabad from Jan 7 to 9, AAPI President Vijay Koli said.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2005 09:31 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in the United States (AAPI) is negotiating an agreement with the Indian government under which it would help improve medicare facilities in rural areas of the country.

After three-hour long discussions with a Ministry of Overseas Indians delegation led by Joint Secretary G Gurucharan, AAPI President Vijay Kolisaid on Sunday they plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding during the observance of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Hyderabad from January 7 to 9.

According to Gurcharan, the emphasis of the Divas is being shifted from being just a forum for exchange of ideas to discussion of specifics and the AAPI project is one of them.

Both Gurucharan and Koli declined to go into the details of the MoU, saying they are still being finalised and would be announced after the emergence of a final draft.

But they said the idea was for AAPI to operate in select villages in two or three states, which would create a model for expansion of the programme in other areas. However, they did not give any timeframe for the plans.

Koli said AAPI would emphasise on access to medicare facilities, education of the people in health-related issues and prevention and also bring the best practices followed elsewhere in the world to rural areas where facilities might not be adequate.

According to Gurucharan, states are being involved for the first time so that they have a stake in improvement of medical facilities in rural areas.

Depending on the response from states, more could be included in the initial phase of the programme, the Joint Secretary said.

Replying to a question, Gurucharan said to ensure that there are no bureaucratic hurdles, his ministry would work more like a facilitator and coordinator and allow stakeholders to cooperate in the projects.

There has been a vast improvement in the medical facilities in India as is evident from the sharp decline in child mortality, he said.,

APPI would be expected to further improve them so that best practices in treatment as also management are followed, he added.

First Published: Dec 12, 2005 09:31 IST