The Indian Rheumatology Association

The Professional Organization of Rheumatologists and other Health Professionals in India

President's Message

Dr. Amita Aggarwal
Email : president.indian.rheumatology@gmail.com
President IRA

Dear Friends,

I thank the members of Indian Rheumatology Association for providing me an opportunity to serve the IRA. Indian Rheumatology Association is a vibrant association meant to improve Rheumatology manpower, delivery of health care services to patients and research into rheumatic diseases.

Towards this goal of improving Rheumatology manpower we propose to conduct Continuing Medical Education programs in medical colleges across all parts of country (at least 2 in each year in North, South, East and West India) so that the disparity across India can be bridged. For fellows in training in sub-speciality a 3 days fellows retreat is planned every year to teach them nuances of research, paper writing, medical ethics, communication skills etc to make them better teachers. For our members we plan to conduct an IRA mid-term meeting on a single theme to update ourselves with the latest in the field. The first one is scheduled on December 19, 2015 on Spondyloarthropathies at SGPGI, Lucknow.

As majority of patients are still cared for by General Physicians, I urge all of you to adopt one young Physician who is keen to learn and mentor him in `Each one Teach one' program. That will help us improve the quality of care of patients with rheumatic disease. In addition we propose to focus on patient education resource both on web as well as in print. I understand that a lot of you have made material in different languages, I urge you to share it with IRA and work with IRA to make it available to more patients across the country.

IRA also needs to develop a patient advocacy group so that we can move forward with the government to include rheumatic diseases into the diseases listed for treatment under government schemes like railway concession and BPL schemes. Patient support groups can be resourceful and help us in achieving the goals faster. Research in rheumatic diseases in India is still in its infancy and we need to focus on the local problems like cost effective treatment protocols, use of IT services to improve patient follow-up, scientific evaluation of traditional methods to treat rheumatic diseases and the disease burden in different parts of our country. IRA hopes to funds grant in these key areas.

Last but not the least the organization has to be inclusive, transparent and answerable to its members. To this effect , I urge all of you to send in your suggestions as well as criticism to us (preferably by email). I would keep in constant touch with you and apprise you of the progress over the next 2 years.