CIF taking next steps into healthcare at New Delhi event

By A Staff Reporter

An ambitious Canada India Healthcare Summit is scheduled to take place in New Delhi, India, on March 30-31, under the auspices of Canada India Foundation (CIF).

CIF recently briefed the media about the upcoming event at a function organized at the Ontario Investment Trade Centre.

Officials said the cummit would be a first on multiple fronts. It would be the first time that a premier Indo-Canadian non-profit organization, CIF, and a prominent private hospital chain in India, Apollo Hospitals, along with the Government of Ontario, would be joining hands for an intensive two-day event on a theme that affects us every day in our lives. It would also be CIF’s first Canada India forum and, in fact, its first public event in India.

Dr V.I. Lakshmanan, summit chair, noted: “Over the years, CIF’s Canada India forums had been its signature contribution to Canada India relations and had been widely praised by government, business and academic representatives who had attended past events”.

He pointed out that the 2015 healthcare summit had resulted in several collaborations between Canadian and Indian healthcare institutions, such as one between William Osler Health System and Apollo Hospitals, initiatives by Toronto Rehab and Ontario Telemedicine Network, and others — and these proved the catalyst for the upcoming event.

Apollo Hospitals will be the organizing partner with CIF for the New Delhi event.

The summit will be co-chaired by Ramesh Chotai, President of Bromed Pharmaceuticals, and a major contributor to healthcare related trade between Canada and India in the area of generic drugs.

Chotai said that it took a lot of effort and financial resources to put together a summit of this caliber and he was confident that it would produce results beneficial to both countries.

Event objectives include: sharing of healthcare knowledge and best practices between the countries in managing a cost-sustainable healthcare ecosystem; identification of research and education collaboration opportunities; and promoting Canada and India as mutually preferred investment destinations for strategic investments in the healthcare sector, as well as direct business-to-business interactions.

Topics presented in panel sessions will include: South Asian Health Issues, Distant and Rural Healthcare, Digital health, Wellness, Aging and Quality Care, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment, Investment in Healthcare, Healthcare research and Innovation and Healthcare Policy, culminating in a Go-Forward session which will make recommendations for stakeholders in both countries.

Canadian healthcare is estimated to be a $300 billion market and is the second largest employer in the country, while its pharmaceutical industry is the eighth largest in the world.

Similarly, Indian healthcare is set to grow to $300 billion by 2020. The number of hospital beds is expected to grow by about 120,000 per year over the next five years.

The two countries also face similar challenges — providing healthcare access to a population spread across a large geography, while lowering costs.

CIF officials added the upcoming event will provide an exciting platform to realize the strong synergies, learnings and business opportunities between the two countries.

Akhil Tyagi, Area Director, South Asia, Ministry of International Trade, Ontario, said: “The ministry had already planned to take a business delegation of medical equipment and services companies on a 10-day mission to India, when CIF approached the government for support of the Healthcare Summit.

“The coming together of the two initiatives will greatly enhance Ontario and Canada’s profile in India and create new business collaboration opportunities,” Tyagi said, adding that after the summit, his delegation will also visit Chennai and Mumbai for B2B meetings with Indian companies, and conclude with participation in the Medical Fair, back in New Delhi.

CIF has meanwhile drawn up an ambitious schedules roster for 2017.

“We are excited about the quality of events CIF is organizing this year, headlined by our 10th Anniversary Awards gala April 21 in Toronto,” said Anil Shah, National Convenor. “The highlight will be the presentation of the Global Indian Award to renowned Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, who joins other recipients of the award such as Subhash Chandra, Deepak Chopra and Sam Pitroda.”

Other events scheduled this year include a continuing monthly lecture series, an Ontario 150 celebration event in August titled ‘Celebrating Inclusiveness and Democracies’, and a two-day event titled ‘State of the States’, tentatively scheduled for early September.

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