Dr. Alexander Thomas, President of the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI), has been awarded the Waterfalls Global Award (Healthcare Sector) by the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The award is presented to those who served the health profession with distinction when called upon during times of adversity. Dr. Thomas was recognised for his efforts and contributions to protecting the safety and health of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Waterfalls Global Award Ceremony was held on Tuesday, 5 July 2022, at the Qasr Al Bahr Majlis (Sea Palace) in Abu Dhabi, where the winners were presented to his Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
The award is a part of the UAE’s contributions to the global efforts in recognising and appreciating health workers. The first edition of the Waterfalls Global Award in 2022 honours 15 healthcare professionals around the world for their dedication and commitment to service. A distinguished panel of jury members, including representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organisation, and Médecins Sans Frontières, evaluated the nominations and made the final selections.
Dr. Thomas is an orthopaedic surgeon and healthcare policy leader who has served the health sector for 43 years, contributing significantly to the provision of quality healthcare at the grassroots in India. As the Director of the Bangalore Baptist Hospital from 2006-2014, he upgraded the institution into a nationally-awarded multi-speciality Centre of Excellence. He is now the President of AHPI and advises the Association of National Board Accredited Institutions (ANBAI) and the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations (CAHO), among others.
During the Covid crisis, Dr. Thomas, through these networks, worked closely with the Central Government, State governments and NGOs to support India’s battle against the pandemic by helping set up dedicated COVID hospitals with ICU beds and ventilators, organising training, equipment, supplies, vaccine distribution, and resources, including the provision of oxygen concentrators and generation plants. He played a major role in involving the private sector in establishing Covid-19 testing centres and setting up courses for the training and certification of frontline Covid Warriors with NSDC. He lobbied with the Government and private sector donors to provide funds for families of healthcare workers who died while treating Covid patients. He rapidly set up expert committees to develop health-based recommendations to enable various sectors to safely reopen and start rebuilding the country’s economy. These recommendations were put into white papers on Covid-19 safety protocols, the safe resumption of air travel, and the safe reopening of schools, among others. The protocols and white papers are available to read on the AHPI website www.ahpi.in
Dr. Alexander Thomas: A Brief Profile
Dr. Alexander Thomas is the President of the Association of Healthcare Providers India (www.ahpi.in), Founder-President (2010-2021) and Patron of the Association of National Board Accredited Institutions (www.anbai.org), and Founder-President (2012-2017) and Patron of the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations (www.caho.in). He has affected far-reaching policy changes within the healthcare landscape, including incorporating healthcare communication in the Indian medical curricula and pioneering several healthcare training initiatives. He played a major role in mandating entry-level NABH accreditation as a minimum criterion for IRDA empanelment and government health schemes, and also led the expert group on medical education for the National Education Policy, headed by Dr. Kasturirangan. He helped set up a think tank on Health with NLSIU, Bangalore. He has served on committees of the Union Health Ministry, NABH, HSSC, CII, FICCI, UNESCO, PHFI, and NBE. He has written several books for the health sector on climate change, communication, health law and ethics, quality and patient safety, and numerous white papers for the State and Central Governments on issues affecting the health sector. He was awarded the Emeritus Teacher Award by NBE (2014), the National Distinguished Services Award by the IMA (2016), and the Lifetime Achievement Award by CAHO (2018). He can be contacted at [email protected]
(Edited by Shweta Yadav)