Saudi, Indian healthcare professionals join hands

Saudi, Indian healthcare professionals join hands
Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, third right; Dr. Ashraf A. Amir, second right; Acting Consul General Y. Sabir, second left; Dr. M.S. Karimuddin, right; and others.
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Updated 26 December 2020

Saudi, Indian healthcare professionals join hands

Saudi, Indian healthcare professionals join hands

The Jeddah chapter of the Indo-Saudi Medical Forum (ISMF) was launched at the InterContinental Jeddah on Friday by Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. The event took place in the presence of prominent Saudi and Indian healthcare professionals in the western region.

Dr. Sayeed thanked Dr. Ashraf A. Amir, chief medical officer (CMO) at Jeddah’s high-profile International Medical Center (IMC), for agreeing to become the forum’s president. He also thanked veteran and popular Indian pediatrician, Dr. M.S. Karimuddin, for becoming the forum’s vice president.

The ambassador highlighted the great strides that have taken place in recent times in relations between Saudi Arabia and India. Dr. Sayeed said the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in October last year plus the signing of a series of important agreements in different fields, including healthcare, have provided new momentum to the two countries’ relationship.

The ambassador highlighted the immense opportunities that “are waiting to be tapped in the healthcare industry.” He said the new forum, led by an energetic and experienced team, would be a good platform for complementing the steps and initiatives being taken by both governments — in Riyadh and New Delhi — to increase cooperation in the field of healthcare. He pointed out that India had become the “pharmacy of the world” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “India stands ready to play its part in alleviating the difficulties of the global community during times of global health crises.”

Dr. Ashraf Amir promised to take all steps to achieve the stated objectives of the Indo-Saudi Medical Forum. He said the advancement of the Indian healthcare sector had been phenomenal and that Saudi Arabia had won international praise for its exceptional handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Acting Consul General Y. Sabir welcomed the guests. He noted that the Indo-Saudi Medical Forum aimed to serve as a key platform point for high-level informal interactions between the medical fraternities of both India and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Karimuddin highlighted the many activities that the forum plans to undertake in the coming days and months. Among other things, he said: “An effort will be made to bring together corporations working in the healthcare sector, including hospitals, pharma and surgical equipment firms, in order to collaborate with a view to providing excellent healthcare for Saudi citizens and expats.”

Dr. Karimuddin said the Indo-Saudi Medical Forum was a nonprofit body under the patronage of the Embassy of India. The forum, made up of Indian and Saudi doctors and experts in the field of healthcare and wellness, will play a supporting role in strengthening India-Saudi Arabian cooperation related to healthcare. ISMF will have three chapters in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.

Nouf Marwaai, award-winning yoga instructor, spoke about how India’s expertise and facilities in the field of wellness and holistic healthcare was relevant to the Saudi healthcare system.

She said the momentum for the present Saudi-Indian relationship began during Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in April 2016 when King Salman presented him with the Kingdom’s highest civilian decoration, the Sash of King Abdul Aziz. “This recognition is an indication of the importance the Kingdom attaches to its relations with India,” she said.

Dr. Iqbal Musani, general secretary of the forum, highlighted with a PowerPoint presentation the giant strides that India and Indian doctors have made in the field of medicine. 

Prominent among those who were present at the event included Hamna Maryam, consul (commerce) at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah; Mohammed Alungal, chairman of Abeer Medical Group; V.P. Mohammed Ali, chairman and managing director of Jeddah National Hospital; Dr. Kavitha Marusamy of Ibn Sina National College; Dr. Ataat Khan and Dr. A.H. Maniyar.

A large number of Indian and Saudi doctors also attended the launch virtually in view of COVID-19-related restrictions.