Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Report of the Indo-US Health Care Summit 2009 - Mental Health Section

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Report of the Indo-US Health Care Summit 2009 - Mental Health Section

Article excerpt

Byline: Anand. Pandurangi, Nimesh. Desai

The 2nd Indo-US Health Care Summit held in January 2009 was a forum to discuss collaboration between physicians in the US and India on medical education, health care services and research. Six specialties were represented including Mental Health (MH). Using Depression as the paradigmatic disorder, the following objectives were developed. Objective I - Leadership and Public Education: Linkage with like-minded agencies and organizations. The core message should be simple. Major Depression is a brain disorder. Depression is treatable. Timely treatment prevents disability and suicide. Objective II - Medical Education: To improve psychiatric education, it was proposed that (1) relations between US/UK and Indian mid-level institutions be established, (2) teaching methods such as tele-psychiatry and online courses be pursued, (3) use models of teaching excellence to arouse student interest, and (4) develop core curricula for other branches of medicine, and CME. Objective III - Reduce Complications of Depression (Suicide, Alcoholism): Goals include (1) decriminalizing attempted suicide, (2) improving reporting systems, and including depression, psychosis, alcoholism, and suicide in the national registry, (3) pilot studies in vulnerable groups on risk and interventions, and (4) education of colleagues on alcoholism as a link between psychiatric and medical disorders. Objective IV - Integrating MH Treatment& Primary Health Care: The focus should be on training of general practitioners in psychiatry. Available training modules including long distance learning modules to be suitably modified for India. Collaborations and specific project designs are to be developed, implemented and monitored by each specialty group and reviewed in future summits.


The Indo-US Health Care Summits are a forum to discuss collaborative initiatives between physicians in the US and India to address medical education, health care services and scholarly initiatives. The second Annual Indo-US Health Care Summit (HCS) was held in New Delhi, India from January 2-4, 2009. Six disease specialties were the focus of this summit - Allergy and Immunology, Cardiology, Diabetes, Infectious Disease, Maternal and Child Health, and Mental Health. This report pertains to the mental health (MH) section. The report is a summary of the reviews, deliberations and conclusions of the mental health panel.

The summits are sponsored by the American Association of Physicians from India (AAPI) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA), in consultation with the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (GOI) and the Medical Council of India (MCI). The first summit was held in New Delhi in December 2007. Other overseas organizations of physicians of Indian origin, such as those from the UK, Canada and Australia have evidenced interest in the summit process and were invited as observers for the second summit. Each specialty organized a panel of delegates from the US and India. Nominations were submitted to the sponsoring organizations and the section chairs. Delegates were selected through an informal process based on interest, expertise and availability. The MH panel membership is included at the end of this report.


The MH panel of the first HCS had identified Depression as the paradigmatic disorder to understand the challenges and opportunities available in mental health.[sup] [1] Depression ranks amongst the top 10 causes of disability, worldwide.[sup] [2] Suicide is a complication of depression. Suicide rates in India have been reported in the range of 98-118 per 100,000. These are likely underestimates.[sup] [3],[4],[5],[6] Depression affects or complicates all major medical disorders, especially cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.[sup] [7] Effective treatments are available for this disorder with nearly 80% response and> 60% remission rates with sequential treatment. …

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