International Conference on Healthcare in a Globalizing World

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1: Friday, May 5, 2017


On May 5, 217, curtains were raised on the much awaited SYMHEALTH 2017 an International Conference on Healthcare in a Globalizing World organized by the Faculty of Health & Biomedical Sciences (FoHBS), Symbiosis International University (SIU).

Standing true to its promise, the multi-disciplinary conference succeeded in forging new dialogues amongst various stakeholders of the healthcare community, both in India and abroad, bringing in new insights and perspectives from other fields and offered a platform on which to foster intellectual fellowship amongst all stakeholders. Most importantly the conference shaped up as an instrument of global advances in healthcare.

The Inaugural ceremony was graced by Chief Guest: Shri. J. P. Nadda  , Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, GoI, while the Guests of Honour were Dr. (Prof.) Jagdish Prasad, DGHS, MoHFW, GoI &  Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,  Director General, ICMR. The ceremony was presided over by Dr. S. B. Mujumdar, Founder & President, Symbiosis & Chancellor, SIU. Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director, Symbiosis, Dr. Rajani Gupte, Vice Chancellor, SIU , Dr. Rajiv Yeravdekar, Dean, Faculty of Health & Biomedical Sciences, SIU & Deans from all faculties of Symbiosis


Shri J.P Naddaji addressed the audience by mentioning that he is delighted and honoured to meet Dr.  S. B. Mujumdar. He spoke on his vision of making health as universal and affordable for all.  The previous health policy was disease-centric. Whereas the current policy is a preventive and promotive policy.  The new policy will take us from Rog to Nirog. Shri.  J. P.  Nadda further added  that the current policy is comprehensive,  holistic and inter-disciplinary in nature taking into consideration geriatric,  palliative and rehabilitative. He went on to stress the point there is a need to reduce pollution both outside , at home and at work place.  The new health policy mandates that an all pathies should come together. He mentioned that homeopathy works on allergies,  Ayurveda works to prevent illness, yoga helps to provide long life.  Therefore all pathies most work together and respect other disciplines

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR expressed her views on how there has been a paradigm shift from infectious diseases to non-communicable disease. She mentioned that as per statistics, 55% of Indian diseased population is affected by non-communicable disease. She further spoke that suicide is the number one cause of death amongst today’s youth.

She explained that initiatives by Government such as Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana initiated by the Ministry of    Petroleum provides LPG lines to 55% of Indian families, thus contributing towards pollution control which is one of the commonest risk factor seen in India.


Dr. S.B. Mujumdar mentioned that Symbiosis as a unique university as this University was born out of the concept of universal brotherhood for the welfare of international students. He further added that today we are lucky to have a health minister as a Chief Guest of healthcare conference. He added that today he wants to ask two things from the health minister.  One is to revive the old family doctor system.
Second suggestion is to provide a bridge course to all nurses to become Physician

The day one of the international conference began with two parallel tracks. Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), being the chairperson for Track 1, gave an overview of various sub-themes under Track 1 ranging from Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global & national perspectives on Healthcare Financing, Government policies & interventions to the role of the Civil Society Organizations (GSOs) towards improving healthcare delivery. Dr. K. Srinath Reddy mentioned that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) formulated in 2000, focused only on mortality & not morbidity and how the SDGs now focus on the concept of well-being for all at all ages.

One of the speaker in Track 1 on Healthcare Economics & Financing was Mr. Alok Kumar, Advisor, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), Government of India. He spoke on the Government Policies and Interventions designed to address the important aspects on healthcare economics. He brought to the attention of the audience that expenditure on health in India is inadequate and has to be prioritized and increased.

The Track 2 on Healthcare Communications had Dr. Pradeep Krishnatray, India- Director, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discussing a case study approach to the research conducted in Healthcare communication. He concluded that communication revolves around the science of behavior, perception & persuasion.


The Track 3 on Healthcare Laws featured stalwarts such as Dr. Mohan Agashe, Former Director, Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health, who touched the socially relevant topic of Mental Health. Dr. Agashe showed a snippet of his film ‘Astu’ to the audience which left the audience thinking on this much burning societal issue. Prof. Kris Gledhill, Director of Clinical Legal Education, AUT Law School, Auckland, New Zealand put forth his views on the global advocacy perspectives on mental health. Track 3 also dealt with the medico-legal aspects around patient safety which was discussed by Prof. John Tingle, Reader in Health Law, Nottingham Trent University, UK

The focus of Track 4 on Healthcare: Engineering Design & Geospatial Applications was on recent trends in the designing of ‘Smart Hospitals’, use of technology, innovative applications & adoption of user centric ergonomically designed equipments for effective healthcare delivery. Dr. Nitin Tripathi, Professor, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, enlightened on how Geographic Information System (GIS), a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface can prove to be a technology boon in healthcare by way of assisting in the geographical mapping of disease risk.

Around 1000 to 1200 healthcare professionals, from India & abroad, comprising of professionals from diverse verticals of the healthcare sector including domains of Hospital & Healthcare Management, Medico Legal Systems, Medical Insurance, Clinical Research, Healthcare IT professionals, General practitioners, Specialists & Doctors from Allied Health Sciences, Policy makers & Administrators, Representatives of the Pharma sector, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations and Representatives of private and public Healthcare sector organizations participated in this event.