Hotel Hilton witnessed on Sept 21 one of the biggest healthcare events in the country where major nationally recognized awards were conferred at the 5th Pharmaleadership Annual Summit.
The glittering event saw participation of industry legends like Pfizer Managing Director Kewal Handa, Biocon CEO Kiran Muzumdar Shaw and many others, who were given awards by Maharashtra Governor His Excellency K Sankaranarayanan.
Amongst the top award recipients was renowned Indian American Harvard trained Cardiac Surgeon and Healthcare Economist Dr Mukesh Hariawala who became the first NRI to receive the prestigious "India's Most Admired Surgeon" award for his outstanding contribution to Indian Healthcare and pioneering research in the field of Angiogenesis in cardiac surgery.
According to event Chairman Satya Brahma, the hall was packed to capacity as Dr Hariawala had all attendees stunned in rapt attention as he unveiled billions of dollars of business opportunity for the Indian Healthcare industry.
Dr Hariawala stated that "US is going through difficult economic times and President Barack Obama has put forth a Healthcare Reform Bill to accommodate the uninsured Americans into the system. This noble gesture is welcome by most US citizens but a side effect would be an increase in appointment lines to see a doctor or for surgical procedures in the US. It will open up a new market for elective surgical services outside the US".
In 2004, accounting company Deloitte and others had reported a $40 Billion medical tourism business worldwide and had forecasted this to grow to over $100 Billion by 2012. The numbers have fallen short due to changing economic trends due to slowdown of world financial markets and growth in many countries propelled by recession in the US.
However, this pattern is expected to take an upswing once markets start stabilizing. The specialties that will be most sought after would be cardiac surgery, orthopedics, gynecology, plastic surgery, urology and neurosurgery.
Dr Hariawala said, "India has one of the finest hospitals in the Global Group, Fortis, Appolo , Max amongst other regional hospitals many of which are JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited. These hospitals can be good recipients providing high quality care to these overseas patients at 20% of the cost compared to their native countries. Additionally, Indian doctors most of whom are overseas trained are highly skilled and respected producing results which are equal to their American or European counterparts."
"It is the quality Indian hospitals and doctors which will make for a winning combination to unload some of the healthcare burden of the western countries and in return bring in high volume valuable foreign exchange reserves to the country which will raise its GDP and standard of living for majority of Indians," he reminded.
Additionally, the medical tourism business would open new avenues of business to the banking sector, hospitality industry, holistic and spiritual medicine centres, travel industry and this could provide large scale employment within India. He also cautioned that marketing will be the key to success but there will be aggressive competition from neighbouring Asian countries like Thailand, Philippines, Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore.
Dr Hariawala was an integral member of John Wright's surgical team that performed the first Bypass Surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Harley Street Clinic in 1990. He has operated on many celebrities and is also a visiting Honorary Cardiac Surgeon at Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital where he intends to launch many revolutionary cardiac therapies in the country like Heartmate 2 - VAD (Ventricular Assist Device), Angiogenesis, Stem Cells and the Non Invasive Modulith SLC Shockwave therapy for the heart.