WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate an Indian-American doctoras his next surgeon general has been hailed as a move recognizing the immense contribution of the community in the medical field in the country.
“President Obama’s nomination of Dr Vivek Hallegere Murthy as our nation’s next Surgeon General is a historic moment for Indian-Americans across the country,” Congressman Hoe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, said.
Obama had made the announcement in this regard on Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Murthy would replace acting Surgeon General Rear Adm. Dr Boris Lushniak, who assumed the interim role in July when Dr Regina Benjamin stepped down.
“Indian-Americans have made many important contributions to American society, including in the medical field, and it is great to see another well-qualified leader rise in government,” Crowley said.
“Not only does Dr Murthy bring knowledge and experience to the position, but he has shown a clear commitment to improving the health of the American people. I commend President Obama for this important nomination,” the US lawmaker said in a statement.
If confirmed, Murthy, a Yale graduate, whose parents reportedly emigrated from Karnataka, will be the youngest Surgeon General in the US history and first of Indian descent.
Co-founder and president of Doctors for America, Murthy is a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.
Doctors for America is a group of 15,000 physicians and medical students that has rallied behind Obama’s signature healthcare law ‘Obamacare’.
Rajan Zed, of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, termed it as a smart choice.
“We applaud Murthy’s nomination, an outstanding physician who has demonstrated to be a sincere and innovative health leader and visionary, committed to improving the health of Americans. We urge the US Senate to speedily confirm his appointment,” he said.
Dr Sampat Shivangi, president of Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE) urged the Senate for his early confirmation.
“We at IAFPE welcome the appointment of Dr Vivek Murthy who represents the next generation of Indian-Americans and we look forward to his leadership in changing the face of health of the country in coming years,” he said.
“IAFPE will stand by his nomination and will actively support him in the US Senate confirmations in the coming days in every step of the way,” Shivangi said.