Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan  and others about their forthcoming healthcare forum in New Delhi To his left is Ramesh Chotai, co-chair of the forum
Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan and others about their forthcoming healthcare forum in New Delhi To his left is Ramesh Chotai, co-chair of the forum

Toronto: A major Canada-India Healthcare Summit, to be held at ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi March 30-31, will “share best practices in developing sustainable healthcare ecosystem with cost-efficient quality care and creation of knowledge jobs and identify opportunities for education and research collaboration.”

It is being organized by the Toronto-based Indo-Canadian national organization – Canada India Foundation - with active support from the Ontario government and it will be chaired by Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, former National Chair of CIF and Vice-Chair/CEO of Process Research ORTECH, Canada.

The key objectives of the healthcare forum also states that it will “promote Canada and India as mutually preferred investment destinations for strategic investments in the healthcare sector.

“We want to lay emphasis on quality healthcare in both countries,” Lakshmanan told The Indian Diaspora.

Lakshmanan said close to $45-billion, which is 35% of the Ontario annual budget, is devoted to the universal healthcare but it may not be sustainable for a long amount of time. Something has to be done to curb it and for this “what can we learn from India and that could be the digital care, use of generic drugs but whatever it may be the cost on healthcare has to be curbed to make it sustainable.”

The emphasis could also be on “homecare and we have to learn that from India,” Lakshmanan suggested.

But healthcare in India is more challenging because of the size of the population. “Canada has universal healthcare. Is it doable in India, doable not only in urban but in rural areas, in the interiors as well.”

Lakshmanan said they are expecting over 150 participants of which the Canadian delegation will comprise a 50-member strong delegation. There will be 8 keynote speeches with the inaugural address to be delivered, besides by Dr. Lakshmanan, by Canadian High Commissioner to India, Nadir Patel.

Lakshmanan believes “healthcare in Canada and India is highly complementary and these include – Canadian side: There’s universal healthcare; it has world-class health institutions; state of the art research development and the country has the ability to deliver healthcare to remote regions.
India’s priorities in the healthcare sectors include “accessible drug service and diagnosis and the country has rural healthcare and health research” and for some time now, under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there’s emphasis on “Clean India.”

Keynote speakers would also include Dr. Jeremy Desai, CEO and President of Toronto-based Apotex Canada, and R. Chandra Sekaran, Executive Vice-President of Cognizant India.

Within a maximum of three months, Lakshmanan said, they would be able to produce a report on the Forum detailing all their recommendations ready for submission to the Canadian and Indian governments.

Co-chair of the healthcare forum is Ramesh Chotai, president and CEO of Toronto-based Bromed Pharmaceuticals, largest importer and maker of the generic drugs.

(Ajit Jain can be contacted at ajit.jain0410@gmail.com)

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