President - Dr. Alpesh Gandhi, FOGSI 2020

Dr. Alpesh Gandhi

Immediate Past President, FOGSI – 2020

From the desk of Dr. Alpesh Gandhi – Immediate Past President, FOGSI 2020



I dedicate this presidential address, to 38000 FOGSIANs who are the best gynaecologists, working very hard, day and night, in all different conditions, for improving women’s health in India.

It indeed is a great moment of pride and personal achievement for me, with immense humility, to be at the helm of FOGSI, as the President, and I realize the enormity of this responsibility.

This year our country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji. One of his principles was “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. I have always believed in his message, and my team 2020 believes in as well.

So let me introduce you to my team:

My patrons, the stalwarts of this wonderful organisation. It is only through the power of blessings & inspiration from them, over the years that has helped me in making this vision.

The advisors, who have guided & supported us. We sincerely request that you continue to provide your valuable guidance to Team FOGSI-2020 to help us spread our vision.

Our dedicated and experienced office bearers for FOGSI and ICOG. They geared up to make the year landmark and to leave their footprint in FOGSI. My joint secretary, Dr Sunil Shah and my national coordinators, Dr Aswathkumar and Dr Hemant Bhatt. They are my strength, my strong pillars, my friends, my younger brothers.

As Henry Ford once said, if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.  On that note, let me introduce:

Chairpersons of the various FOGSI committees, who work collectively all over the country to take FOGSI forward.

Steve Jobs believed, if you are working something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.

2020 is a popular word and a landmark year, the beginning of a decade. To commemorate this in our own way, we have identified 20+20 = 40 different projects. These projects will be scientific, theme related, and focussed towards patients’ and members’ wellbeing.

On that note, let me unveil the theme and logo for the year 2020.

The theme for this year is Safety first, for Indian women and for FOGSIANS.

This year, I wish to take on this responsibility, to improve the safety of our women all over India as well as the safety of our members.  We believe that, we are safe, when our patients are safe. Our patients are safe when we are safe.

I envision that safe motherhood should be considered a woman’s legitimate right. The paucity of resources cannot be used as an excuse. Saving a mother’s life should be a cohesive, national responsibility and an utmost priority.

For safety of our mothers, we wish to focus on activities for updating our knowledge, enhancing our skills, practicing protocols and GCPR, observing Check lists, promoting 100% Antenatal case booking at the earliest in 1st trimester for all pregnancies, minimum 9 Antenatal visits throughout the pregnancy, by improving infrastructure, and training our paramedical staff for the different obstetric emergencies.

The relations between doctors and patients the holy relations of trust. I wish to let these relations develop without any fear of violence, tension of stringent laws, stress of a huge work load, the discomfort of insufficient healthcare infrastructure, the pressure of high costs for education, very high compensation by courts, and corruption by a few authorities.

We believe that, FOGSI grows when FOGSIANS grow. FOGSIANS grow when there is safety. So I wish to work for the safety for all FOGSIANs. Our members, our PG’s, our staff, and our families. And in turn, our patients.  

The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.

In the interest of continuing medical education, we have an exhaustive list of symposiums and academic activities that we have planned over the course of the year. Starting with symposiums, we have 17 symposiums lined up. We promise to provide new and unrepeated themes for the symposiums that will interest both the novice gynaecologist and the experienced gynaecologist. We have tried to cover all the zones while selecting the locations, so that people from all over the country can attend with ease. We have collaborated with international societies like RCOG, AOFOG, SAFOG, AOFOG, FIGO, EMA and SMFM to bring their experience and insight into our mix.

As part of the workshops/CMEs, we have an exhaustive list of 25 different topics, on which we have planned to conduct full or half day workshops, leading to a total of 750 workshops over the course of the year. Each theme has been carefully selected, and the program curated in detail, to make sure there are no repetitions. We wish to reach maximum FOGSI societies with these CMEs. We promise you, that even if you attend every single conference and workshop, you will always find something new, interesting, and useful. 

We wish to expand this popular Post graduate lecture series ‘FORCE’ to more than 100 colleges with innovative ways of teaching, and interactions between PG teachers and students from all over the country, to provide a mentor- mentee type experience.

In the era of technology, a great way to share knowledge is WEBINARS, by providing our busy doctors access to the knowledge of experts at their homes. We wish to conduct 48 webinars on pertinent topics on every Tuesday between 3.0 – 4.0 pm throughout the year.

We wish to compile a detailed FOGSI’s textbook, that will comprehensively, yet in a concise manner, cover all the topics with the latest scientific evidences that a postgraduate student requires to understand this subject thoroughly.

We believe that FOGSI being such a large and responsible federation should have its GCPR, a set of its guidelines on all important Ob-Gyn conditions which are scientifically and ethically sound, and useful in our Indian and rural scenario. We wish to develop minimum 15 new GCPR that can be applicable in our day to day practice for safety of our pts.

All over the country, right from our PHC’s, Government hospitals to Private setups, the sheer number and variety of patients that our doctors examine on a daily basis is unmatched anywhere in the world. Still, we rely largely on others. With this project, we wish to focus on our data, and encourage studies to bring Indian statistics into the forefront.

Manyata is a stamp of quality care which ensures a well-trained staff providing a safer and respectful experience for mothers during and immediately after childbirth. We wish to take this project forward, by making it acceptable by State Governments, easily accessible across India, affording for all practitioners and more effective for the better obstetric outcomes.

Checklists used in the medical settings reduces errors caused by lack of information and inconsistent procedures and increases patient safety. Along with improving patient safety, checklists create a greater sense of confidence that the process is completed accurately and thoroughly. Checklists can have a significant positive impact on reducing mortality, complications, injuries and other harms.

With numerous gynaecologists from all over the world treating lacs of patients, opinions, views, choices, management, as well as stands on debatable matters can never be uniform. Bearing this in mind, we wish to develop such position statements on certain issues, that will clear FOGSI’s position & vision, and help in making national policy for safety of Indian women.

Education is the best form of healthcare! We wish to bring FOGSI FOCUS, to strike a balance between the clinical, traditional practices as well as the cutting-edge scientific advances taking place in our field. We shall come out with FOGSI FOCUS in a concise, easy- to- read and easy – to – practice format.

FOGSI advocates for 100% Antenatal case booking early in the 1st Tri – MUST for all pregnancies by GOI like birth & marriage registration, with Unique AN case registration number. We advocate for Minimum 9 Antenatal visits and respectful maternity care for all pregnancies. We advocate for liaison of all Govt beneficiary schemes with AN registration and number of AN visits.

FOGSI advocates for Upgrading of Labour rooms, and establishment of Obst HDU/OICU, MUST in all medical colleges & district Hospitals across India and University recognized fellowship course on critical care in obstetrics to provide experts to our country.

Haemorrhage is an unpredictable and leading cause of mortality in obstetrics. Anaemia is also badly prevalent in our country. Along with the techniques and skill, in most cases, we also require blood components to save the lives. To make it available in rural and remote places, we need only transportation and storage facility for components. FOGSI advocates for facility of blood components MUST in all medical colleges & district hospitals across India.

We also advocate for mandatory Preventive and Screening facility for Breast and cervical cancer in all medical colleges.

We also wish to advocate to GOI to publish guidelines for private insurance companies to start Maternity insurance to cover mothers with problems related to pregnancy.

We wish to develop an easily downloaded FOGSI App Providing quick access to fogsians for FOGSI’s GCPRs, FOGSI’s algorithms, FOGSI’s check lists, FOGSI’s uniform consents, Counselling videos, talks and Take-home messages of FOGSI’s conferences, guidance in complicated cases, Updates on medical news and events, FOGSI’s calendar and many more such useful issues. 

This is a time for ICOG to Think Big and Aim Big. Let ICOG credit points reach beyond the boundaries of FOGSI. ICOG certificate courses reach to medical colleges and universities and FICOG reach to countries outside of India.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

As members of such a mammoth organisation, it is our duty to give to our community- through our skills, our knowledge and our abilities. We have therefore planned various CSR activities throughout the year. These will be scientifically based, and impact oriented, conducted across the country.

We wish to adopt a minimum of 300 PHCs/CHCs where obstetricians are not available with permission from local authority under ‘Each society adopts a PHC/CHC for safe pregnancy’. Our willing FOGSIANs will visit PHCs twice in a month – on 9th & 23rd of every month. To provide Antenatal care, to identify High-Risk patients, to refer HRP to higher centers, for postnatal care and contraception care. 

Breast cancer is the no 1 cancer in women. Cervical cancer still kills > 60,000 women per year in India which is completely preventable. Most of them are in the reproductive age group. So, on this coming International women’s Day, 8th March, we have planned to organise cervical and breast cancer screening camps for the females in police and CRPF staff and families pan India. We are aiming to screen > 50000 females of > 30 years of age.

We are going to do many activities for ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Vadhao, Beti Padhao’ on the Mothers’s day, 10th March. Now this is also the time to add 4th dimension of Beta Samajao in this activity. जहां होगा बेटियों का सम्मान, वही देश होगा महान।

India is one of the countries having Highest air pollution. Let us celebrate ‘The world Environment day’, 5th June, by plantation of one lakh trees & conducting mass awareness programs across India on “Save pregnancy and future generation from air pollution & toxins”.

On 21st June, on ‘International Yoga Day’, we have planned mass awareness programmes on positive effects of ‘Exercise and Yoga in Pregnancy’ across the country under FOGSI- BRAHMAKUMARIS INITIATIVE. Let us conduct programmes of Exercise and Yoga at our clinics on 21st June.

Life is the precious gift; God has given to us. Let us celebrate Doctors’ Day, 1st July, for Organ Donation Pledge and its campaigning. Our body is a biochemical unit which has the unique functions of Heart, Liver, Kidneys, Eyes – which are utilizable after death in the form of ORGAN TRANSPLANT. We have seen the agonizing wait for the suitable donors by the patients and family members. Every year 5,00,000 people die in India due to non-availability of organs. LET US TOGETHER MAKE THIS WORLD A LIVABLE & LOVABLE. Let us live in others after death. We, the office bearers, today pledged for organ donation.

We have planned to celebrate International Youth Day, 12th August, by organizing a ‘preventable adolescent health education satellite interactive programme’, relayed to schools, and colleges across India. We are aiming to reach to > 5,00,000 girls. We also wish to launch a 6 months uni. certificate course for adolescent health care counsellor.

There is alarming increase in Incidence of rape and violence. We want to organize activities to Stop Violence against Women on the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November

We are seeing on a day to day basis, increase in medicolegal cases and violence against doctors. We wish to start FOGSI’s helpline number functioning for 24 hours for helping and guiding our members in ML emergency. FOGSI ML experts & a team of experienced senior advocates that can be consulted at any time. They will guide us without taking any fees in case if any of us faces an ML emergency situation.

FOGSI’s present Indemnity insurance scheme is not popular & effective. We wish to explore and bring individual indemnity insurance scheme as per the need of the present time, which can be offered at attractive premium with many other facilities like emergency medicolegal guidance, out of the court settlement, cashless, immediate help, and other benefits.

We wish to explore and try to start FOGSI’s insurance scheme to protect our hospitals and clinics against damage because of theft, fire, natural calamities and mob violence.

It is observed that 70% of ML cases are because of improper consents and counselling. We therefore wish to develop and publish uniform consents in English and Hindi for all common ob-gyn procedures, surgeries, interventions for the benefits of our members and patients prepared by medicolegal experts and advocates as per the advice of the Hon. Supreme court of India, which will simplify consent taking and defend in case of medicolegal litigations.

We will advise our members to keep their premises under surveillance of CCTV camera.

Another area of concern is the PCPNDT act and its finer points. Our doctors are increasingly facing problems because of filling of form F.  We will work to make online submission of Form F available in all the states. At present it is available only in few states. Our PM advocates for us to ‘Go Green’ and use ‘Technology’. Once the facility of online submission of Form F will be available across the country, we will work to abolish virtual submission of Form F except ‘section D for consent’.

I would like to come back to the topic of mob violence, which has become a disturbing. An ongoing study by IMA reports that 75 % of doctors in India have faced physical or verbal violence at some point of time in their life. 62% Doctors unable to see their pts without fear of violence. We are vulnerable to violence because of the reasons, which are not in our hands, like pt’s critical condition, poor infrastructure, very less medical and paramedical staff in public hospitals, and others.

We wish to open a dialogue about how FOGSI and local society can be helpful. Association of Medical Consultants, Mumbai has hired the service of a private security agency to provide safety to its members, which is quick and effective.  We will guide affiliated societies to hire such services for the security of our members. We will work to bridge the gap with Authorities, Police, NGOs and media for better support.

Can FOGSI appoint an advocate group permanently who fights cases in court against a culprit on behalf of our members in case of violence against any of our members during practice? Our member may be forced to withdraw a case because of lack of time or funds but FOGSI can continue the fight till its end to make sure that the culprit and the responsible authority does not go unpunished.

Every emergency service the world over has an emergency response team to mobilize action within a few minutes. We wish to promote the concept of a Rush Team effectively in all affiliated societies to support and help our members in medical crisis, mob violence & harassment by authorities. We will work to make it available in all the societies.

Unfortunately, our Social Security Scheme is not effective or attractive to involve majority of our members. We wish to make sure that we as a society, as an extended family, are able to provide reasonably good financial assistance to the family of a deceased member, to be able to lighten the burden they face.  We would work to make our FOGSI’s S.S.S. more inclusive, effective and meaningful.

Our Postgraduates are the future fogsians. I wish to start the PG Forum, to provide a common platform for OBGYN Postgraduates across India. We wish our PGs are updated, united, respected, safe, and groomed as future gynaecologists. We wish to work for their safety and their overall development.

Another goal for this year is reaching the unreached—I wish to collaborate with other agencies – like IMA, AIRA and others to represent our problems jointly to GOI, to organize a meeting with Police department and authorities for proper implementation of various acts, and laws to protect our members.

We propose a collaboration with the media, where we as a society, are able to state our opinions, present medical facts & data without bias, and have our viewpoints heard & understood by the general public. We also propose to have FOGSI’s column in reputed newspapers regularly throughout the year to educate the general public regarding women’s health.

I think we all know the power of social media in today’s world. Over 90% of educated individuals in India are social- media- savvy. FOGSI has its presence on social media but still lots can be done to make it more interesting, useful, more academic, more communicative, more inclusive, safe and attractive.

I keep coming back to violence against doctors because this is a topic that is close to my heart. Almost 15-18 states have an Act against violence, but the will to implement it and to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted under the act and convicted will have to be there! The shameful problem is the lack of implementation.

We need action now. We need to implement of zero- tolerance, to make it crystal clear that absolutely NO violence will go unpunished. We will try to make effective strong logical and emotional arguments which can create attention of public, media, Government. FOGSI needs your wholehearted full support on one call.

Our demand includes:

A Central Rule at National level, a non-bailable offence, to protect the doctors. The cases should be made non compoundable that cannot be withdrawn just by the doctor! There needs to be a designated Authority to pursue the cases fast till convictions are achieved. Ultimately convictions of culprits under this Act will be the only deterrent!

“Strong Unity AND Zero Tolerance to violence against Doctors IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR”

Before I close, let me outline what I foresee for FOGSI-2020 is to plan and to start work to achieve SDG for our country by 2025 instead of 2030 by setting of our own targets and working for it.

Before I close, I would like to say: Faith is the biggest strength in this world

It is because of this faith that you all have shown in me today that I stand here in all humility and I have full faith in all my office bearers and my team mates for their commitment and efficiency. I have the same faith in all my office staff for their cooperation, support and efficiency.

Papa, Mummy, Amita, Hetvee, and Manan, Thank you is a small word. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all, by my side. Thank you so much for allowing me, supporting me, helping me, caring for me, being with me and for the love.

We believe that well done is better than well said. I do not stop when I’m tired, I STOP WHEN I’M DONE. I will come back to you, in next January, when I am done.

Once American Past president, Barack Obama declared that We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.

A Big section of our country is still UNREACHED & UNDERPRIVILEGED deprived of health care facilities and its benefits. Let us work together to reach them.

Let us work to together for FOGSI-2020’s theme and vision to achieve SDG before 2025 for our country.Let us take the flags of FOGSI and India, Onward and Upward.

A big Thank you.

Aapka Bahut Bahut Dhyan rakhiyega, Take care of Yourself.

Dr. Alpesh Gandhi
FOGSI Immediate Past President 2020