EMA signs MOU with the Indian Medical Association
Dr.GemechisMamo, president and Dr.AbiyHiruye, executive director of the Ethiopian Medical Association attended the first Global Exhibition of Services (GES) in Delhi, India from April 23 to 25, 2015.
The exhibition was organised jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The GES was expected to serve as a platform to enhance trade in services and develop synergies between competitive players of the services sector in the global market. Over 40 countries participated in the fair which saw over 4,000 structured B2B meetings.
Indian Medical Association is the only representative voluntary organization of Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine, which looks after the interest of doctors as well as the wellbeing of the community at large.
Among the activities that IMA performs is CME/CPD which is not mandatory, legal cell that mediates patient-doctor disputes, health alerts, media advocacy, preparation of white paper etc.
The association used to have Journal of Indian Medical Association which is not in print since a year ago because of legal disputes. The association has about 200 branches and the representatives from branches attend the general assembly meeting. EMA president signed MOU with the IMA secretary general. The EMA delegates received IMA pin from the Indian doctor and MP.
During the afternoon of April 23 the GES was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Moodi. The prime minister noted in his opening address in Hindi that India is transiting from brain drain to brain gain. The PM said that Indian doctors are playing important role in running successfully the medical infrastructure of many countries of the world "which without them would collapse".
During the second day the delegates attended the Indian African Health Summit. During the summit it was pointed out by the various speakers that out of the 70% imported drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa half is imported from India. The joint secretary(Africa) pointed out that India has launched a PanAfrican e-network and Ethiopian universities are among the beneficiaries of tele-education. The low cost of medical services in India has resulted in the country's medical tourism attracting patients from around the world. An availability of a pool of well-trained medical professionals, favourable cost of high-quality medical services, supportive regulatory environment and cost advantage for conducting clinical trials and surgeries, have helped India advance by leaps and bounds in this sector.
The delegates travelled to Apollo Hospital Indraprashta. It is the first hospital that received JCC accreditation. The hospital is known for the following
- 52,000 heart surgeries to date
- Over 10,000 major neurosurgical procedures every year
- Over 10,000 joint replacements to date
- World's Busiest Solid Organ Transplant Program
- Over 500 Bone Marrow Transplant to date
- Dedicated Paediatric Care Unit
After visiting most of the facilities,Dr.Gemechis and Dr.Abiy had a meeting and lunch with Dr. Ganjoo, consultant cardiac surgeon, and Dr.Garg, senior consultant cancer surgery.
The consultants noted that in addition to the medical tourism EMA and Apollo can help by building the capacity of Ethiopian doctors. It was also noted by the consultants that the telemedicine is underutilized in Ethiopia.
In the afternoon of April 24, the delegates attended the medical value travel to India. The panellists were renowned speakers from India and all over the world.
Some of the major issues highlighted around increasing the services from medical value travel which is synonymouswith medical tourism were:
- the need for doing regulatory reforms
- signing free trade agreements with other nations
- the need to have accreditation and quality
- the establishment of Indian health portal by the government
The speakers noted that globally the opportunity for medical tourism is huge and there is a need for partnership with other sectors such as the private sector.The speakers noted that online visa application is aimed at encouraging medical value travel. "The Indian story needs to be promoted comprehensively" noted one speaker. Iran is mentioned as one successful country that promotes religious travel with health and wellness. There is a need to address operational challenges like currency.
Building trust is also discussed among the panellists which is translated as honest and true in pricing, diagnosis and communication. Patient experience and accreditation by JCI were presented as indicators of trust.For the medical tourism industry to move to the next level the speakers noted that care management is the crucial piece. The need for making the services ethical is highlighted by the speakers.