Featured Doctor

PAREKH, Dr Ramnik: WONCA Fellowship winner 2016

India: WONCA leader

Dr Ramnik Parekh, MBBS, DIH(London),DIM,FIAOH(Hon), FCGP(Hon) is currently the President of Federation of Family Physicians' Associations of India (FFPAI); also a founder member and ex-president of General Practitioners' Association - Greater Bombay. He was instrumental in founding the Spice Route Movement for young and new family doctors in the WONCA South Asia region.

Path to Family medicine

He was born in Karachi, then undivided India, and migrated to India in 1947. He qualified in medicine in 1962.
Soon after starting his family practice in 1963, he became a direct member of WONCA and also the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) from where he drew inspiration to achieve goals of ideal family practice. He, with his GP wife, Dr Jyoti Parekh, pioneered systematic record keeping, interior design for clinics, stationery for doctors, practice management etc way back in 1964. They set an example of creating an ideal clinic and founded a trophy for Ideal Family Practice, in Mumbai, in 1970, coinciding with first ever GP conference in India.

A second career in medicine

After about 20 years of family practice, Ramnik trained in occupational health, in London, and accepted the chair of National Medical Adviser for Unilever Group, in India until 1995. He then established the first ever Executive Health Centre in Mumbai. In 1996, he started a joint venture in Health Management Services with Sedgwick Plc of UK and then with UnitedHealthcare of USA where he is still a board member. He is CEO of an Occupational Heathcare (OH) provider Matrix Medicare Private Limited, and served in recent past as Chairman of leading Lab Diagnostic Manufacturer SPAN.

He served as an Expert for Indian Council For Medical Research's OH projects under National Institute of OH and as research committee member for Ergonomics Man Power Development for Government of India. He also was chairman & member of Board of Governors for National Safety Council of India for 25 years. He served several medical professional societies like IAOH, CHEMTECH, ICOH, ICMA etc. in various management positions.

His international forays include a number of orations in several forums and:
- Major Speaker at Worksafe Australia conference, 1987,
- Organising committee member for first ever ILO's World Safety Congress in India,
- Chairman for one of six workshops on environment in new millennium for G7 nations, held in Canada, in 1993.

After retirement from active medicine

After his retirement, his contribution to the cause of family practice continues as he still represents India in WONCA; he pioneered formation of The Spice Route (movement for young and new family doctors in the WONCA South Asia region); and with his perpetual engagement with GPs for new inroads.

Ramnik Parekh presenting at the WONCA SAR conference in Mumbai in 2011.

Dr Parekh says: “I have immensely enjoyed my involvement with WONCA South Asia region (SAR) in particular. I am proud to be associated with the Spice Route initiative which Sonia Mehra and Raman Kumar are very ably trying to grow. In a short span of the WONCA - FFPAI relationship, we have gained international recognition through hosting the WONCA SAR conference in December 2011 and on personal front I have enriched myself through meeting the many international and towering personalities of WONCA. I feel honoured and privileged to work at the centre."

Other passion in life

Also after retirement from active medical practice he qualified in Graphic Design and Digital Film Making from New York Film Academy at the age of 72! He has held two Photography exhibitions in Mumbai, solo in 2009 and jointly with Jyoti in 2012. See exhibition online