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Indian American doctors' meet hit by downturn

June 12, 2009 14:14 IST

The current economic downturn seems to have also affected the medical community in Orlando as the annual meeting of Indian American doctors in the Disneyland city witnessed a low turn out.

The annual convention of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, which normally is abuzz with activity with participants coming to the event from across the country and corporate companies scrambling to get a spot in the exhibition hall experienced a relatively thin attendance this year, according to regular visitors.

The four day 27th AAPI Annual Convention had a low key start Wednesday evening at the palatial Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and Convention Center.

Some 900 Indian American doctors, and 1,700 in all, including spouses and their children, have registered for the convention this year, as against a much higher figures in previous years.

Not many health and pharma companies turned out at the exhibition hall this time. While the total number of stalls experienced a drop of about 25 per cent, the exhibition at the annual convention of Indian American doctors appeared to be dominated by jewellery and apparel exhibits.

"It seems to be more of an exhibition of cloths and jewellery this time rather than that of doctors," Lopa Sadana, from the New York Life Insurance said.

Yogi Patel, of Pratham, a non-profit organisation, who has been coming to AAPI conventions for a decade now said, "Convention attendance has been lower this time." Some of Indian American physicians, requesting anonymity, said doctors in the country are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn.

Of the 900 doctors registered for the conference, about 460 are alone from Florida, the State in which Orlando is located.

It is believed that out of 73 exhibits not more than 25 were from pharma, health and technology companies like Pfizer, Abott and Johnson & Johnson.

Lalit K Jha in Orlando
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