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Indian American Doctor Wants Healthcare Reforms

stem errors. Then, doctors, private hospitals and consumer activists have to come together to present a persuasive argument for liability reform," he said.

"Physicians have not done an adequate job of building bridges with consumer groups. We need to do a better job of addressing the problems of the uninsured, and patients with pre-existing conditions. As a physician, I cannot refuse to take a patient just because he or she has had a history of diabetes and is, therefore, high risk."

Swaminathan has been a practising psychiatrist for three decades and said there had been a change in the attitude of Indians towards mental illness.

"When I was doing my residency in 1974, I would see one patient a year. Today I see over 50 annually. The perceptions have changed. Indians have begun to see mental illness as a bona fide physical illness."

Indian patients with mental illness were benefited because they had a very strong family network to fall back upon, Swaminathan said, adding that like other immigrants, Indians, too, were more comfortable seeing physicians of their own culture.

When he is not seeing patients or involved with healthcare issues, Swaminathan likes to take cent restage along with his musical group that performs Hindi pop songs.

Despite being a sought after singer at private events here, Swaminathan is modest about his talent. "My wife is a much better singer. I just accompany her on stage," he said.
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