Indian Healthcare Providers Discuss Healthcare Issues

By Rashi Venkataraman, Murrysville, PA

On April 18, over two hundred physicians gathered for their annual TAPI (Tristate Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) meeting in Coraopolis at the Embassy Suites. As part of the meeting, they had several lectures – Yoga in treating psychiatric disorders, diabetes among Indians, irritable bowel syndrome, among others — to keep themselves up-to-date.  

TAPI also invites pharmaceutical companies to set up booths to promote their new prescription medicines. This also helps TAPI to defray the cost of organizing their meeting. Events like the TAPI Annual Dinner, as one of the drug company representatives told, “are beneficial in that it brings all physicians in one place to talk about new advances in their field.”

With all the changes taking place in the healthcare industry, it is an interesting time for physicians nationwide, to say the least. Several segments of the industry, including healthcare providers, are anxious about the future. One physician went as far as to declare at the evening’s dinner, “Medicine is in a state of peril.” 

In Pennsylvania, with an aging population, two main concerns over the healthcare legislation are the shortage of primary care physicians and the threat of rationed care as a result of cuts to Medicare.

The keynote speaker was Sanford Kurtz, the Chief Operating Officer for the West Penn Allegheny Health System. In his speech on “The Future of Health Care in Pennsylvania,” Kurtz said that moving forward, it won’t be difficult for physicians to accept new ideas. “The hardest thing, instead,” he said, “will be forgetting old ideas.” Kurtz raised his concerns over rising health care costs, shrinking investments in research & development, and the impact of Information Technology in all aspects of healthcare delivery and management. 

N.S.Srinivasa, president of TAPI, introduced the keynote speaker to the audience.

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