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Remarks by Ambassador at the AAPI Legislative day event on the Hill- April 30, 2019

I am honored to address you on the AAPI (the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) Legislative Day.

I would like to acknowledge Dr Naresh Parikh, AAPI President; Dr. Vinod K. Shah, AAPI Legislative Chairman, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, AAPI Legislative Co-Chair for their initiative in bringing the priorities and issues of Indian-origin physicians to the centrestage here on the Capitol. Several Congressmen have addressed you including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Congressman Ami Bera, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and several more. This goes to show the bipartisan support that you have on the Hill.

AAPI founded in 1982 represents a conglomeration of more than 80,000 practicing physicians in the United States. In addition, it also serves as a platform for more than 40,000 medical students, residents and fellows of Indian origin in this country. It epitomizes the best and brightest of Indian diaspora. I have met Congressmen whose introduction to India has been through their Indian-origin doctors. Your hard work, knowledge, skills and grey matter have defined India to Americans and you all are in fact the brand Ambassadors of India.

In a democracy, it is essential for citizens to participate and make their voices heard. I am sure that during the course of your annual Legislative Day today, you have had productive discussions with your Representatives. I understand that one of the issues discussed is the green card backlog impacting Indian-origin Physicians. I had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Chair and Vice Chair respectively of the House Judiciary sub-Committee on Immigration and Citizenship on 2 April 2019 and had raised the matter with them. They are fully supportive of your concern and have in fact introduced H.R. 1044 Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act that seeks to address the issue.

Affordable healthcare is a priority for any Government that is accountable to the people. On September 23, 2018, Government of India launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), to provide health insurance worth Rs 500,000 (USD 7,124.54) to over 100 million families every year. This is the world's largest healthcare programme also referred to as Modicare.

The healthcare market in India is expected to increase three fold to USD 133.44 billion by 2022. India is experiencing 22-25 per cent growth in medical tourism and the industry is expected to surpass USD 8 billion in 2019.


The hospital and diagnostic centers attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth USD 5.25 billion between April 2000 and June 2018, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

I wish you all a very successful Legislative Day and look forward to welcoming you at the Embassy later this evening.