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Selection of Articles, Opinions, Discussions and News on Healthcare in India from all over the web covering Healthcare Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Events, #HealthIT , Edipdemics, Chronic Diseases, #mHealth, #hcsmin ,
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Do you still have a family physician?

Do you still have a family physician? | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

Do you still have a family physician? - In the time of super-specialisation in medicine and healthcare, patients seem to bemoan the scarcity of the family doctor who cured their sniffles without making them undergo a battery of tests. Where is the general physician now?


Sorry situation


India produces nearly 42,000 MBBS doctors every year. But of these, only 8,000 to 10,000 take up general medical practice as a profession


India does not offer an MD in family medicine. Of close to 8,000 seats that are reserved for a 3-year PG course offered by the Diplomate of National Board, only 5–6% of seats are allotted to family medicine


Another reason general practice is on the decline is that fresh MBBS graduates avoid practicing family medicine as a career because it pays less



Read the whole story at http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-do-you-still-have-a-family-physician-1964306


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The UPA regime: A Decade of massive healthcare reform

The UPA regime: A Decade of massive healthcare reform | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

Winston Churchill once said, "Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country could ever have." The UPA's effort to invest in citizen's health deserves better coverage and notice than it has attracted so far.


As we inch towards the end of United Progressive Alliance's (UPA's) second term, it is important to look back and reflect on what was accomplished and what is still to be achieved. If health indicators are any yardstick, then the UPA's thrust on social healthcare has led to improved health of citizens and set the stage for future reforms.


In 2004, when UPA came to power, expenditure on public health was around Rs 7,500 crore. This has now almost quadrupled to Rs 27,000 crore. In the beginning of UPA's regime, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), known to be "the most ambitious rural health initiative ever", was initiated.


The NRHM was formed to provide effective healthcare delivery to our rural population, especially women and children. The latest data shows that in the last 10 years, infant mortality rate (IMR) has come down from 58 per 1,000 to 44. This is further set to decline sharply.


During the National Democratic Alliance's regime, the IMR declined at a snail's pace of 1.3% annually, whereas now this deceleration is happening at 6.4% per annum.


With government focusing on early and periodic health screening of children through its Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, children's health indicators could improve further.


With the Janani Suraksha schemes, institutional deliveries through skilled birth attendants have increased rapidly. Approximately 12 million deliveries per year are taking place at no expense to the beneficiaries. This is followed by cash incentives and other benefits.


As a result of such initiatives, the maternal mortality ratio of India has been reduced by 50% from 390 in 2000 to 200 in 2010.


Providing government-run health insurance to below poverty line (BPL) workers and their families through Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is yet another milestone achieved by the UPA government.

The objective of RSBY is to protect BPL households from major health expenses that could wipe out their life's savings.


This scheme allows inpatient treatment up to Rs 30,000 per year, and since its inception in 2008, around 35 million families have enrolled in the programme. This scheme has been praised by global leaders for its unique, innovative and inclusive business model.


Making India free from the blot of polio is another achievement of the UPA. This was only possible due to massive immunisation and awareness efforts of the government. Nevertheless, the government should be in surveillance mode as we are surrounded by nations that are still afflicted by polio.


Due to improved life expectancy, the average Indian would live five years longer than he would have had a decade ago. An increase in life expectancy will be a driver of economic growth, as it happened in Japan, which saw an increase in life expectancy by 13 years after World War II, followed by rapid economic growth.


This is a battle half-won. We have people falling into the trap of poverty and indebtedness due to escalating healthcare cost. The government should speed up its intention to provide free medicine to all through public hospitals and health facilities.


more at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/comments-analysis/the-upa-regime-a-decade-of-massive-healthcare-reform/articleshow/29430774.cms


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Oh doctor, you're in trouble

Oh doctor, you're in trouble | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

It is not in the interest of patients or doctors to remain on a collision course forever. While growing awareness among patients about their rights is a welcome trend, medical councils have to step up to the plate.


Aam aadmi (and aurat) at the high table in Delhi has buoyed the hopes of citizens’ groups across the country. As 2014 kicks in, be prepared to hear a lot more from one group whose interests have been long-neglected — the harried aam patient.


Over the past year, a series of developments suggests that patient activism is on the surge, and could be shaping the practice of medicine in this country.


People for Better Treatment (PBT), a citizens’ group which started on December 30, 2001, in Kolkata, is fanning out across the country. Last month new PBT branches sprung up in Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Next on the list is Ahmedabad and possibly Lucknow. PBT’s goal is to raise public awareness about medical negligence. It is the brainchild of US-based


Dr Kunal Saha, whose wife Anuradha died due to negligence of doctors in a Kolkata hospital. Dr Saha fought a long, protracted battle for justice for nearly 15 years, boning up on toxic epidermal necrolysis in the process, and mobilising an international panel of experts to bolster his arguments.


Last October, the Supreme Court gave its judgment. The apex court’s ruling found three doctors of the private hospital, Advanced Medical Research Institute (AMRI), negligent in the civil case but dismissed the criminal complaint. The judgment grabbed headlines because of the unprecedented compensation amount in a medical negligence case in India — `5.96 crore plus interest for each of the 15 years — awarded to Dr Saha.


The landmark judgment of the apex court has unleashed a fierce debate on fair compensation for patients who suffer due to medical negligence. The medical fraternity led by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) is seeking a limit on the maximum amount that hospitals should be asked to shell out in such cases. Their argument: without a cap, hospitals will go bankrupt.


Patients’ groups such as PBT led by Dr Saha say that is not true.
Dr Saha says AMRI has not yet coughed up the compensation money. Instead, the hospital authorities have asked for an extension of the deadline to pay the sum. The Kolkata hospital has also partially resumed operations.


Dr Saha has responded by petitioning the Supreme Court against what he terms “deliberate violation” of its order. The case is listed for hearing early January.


The debate over a compensation cap is taking place in the backdrop of a Parliamentary Standing Committee on health’s report on the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2013, introduced in the Rajya Sabha last March. The committee recommended that teams probing cases of medical negligence include external experts instead of just Medical Council of India (MCI) members.


“All of the members of the Medical Council of India are medical professionals and whenever any complaint of medical negligence or violation of code of ethics is brought before the council, such cases are decided by the medical professional themselves,” the committee noted.


The MPs recommended that all cases of medical negligence should be inquired into by a committee of experts drawn from various fields and experience, including social activists, patients’ representative and so on.


Although MCI is the regulatory body governing medical practice, there is growing concern that the few cases brought before it are not impartially decided as council members are very lenient towards their colleagues and hardly anyone is willing to testify that another doctor has been negligent. The fact that the MCI has been embroiled in various corruption scandals in the past adds to the concern.


more at http://www.asianage.com/columnists/oh-doctor-you-re-trouble-940

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MCI shrinks own ambit, doctor bodies out of ethics code

MCI shrinks own ambit, doctor bodies out of ethics code | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

In a bizarre move, the Medical Council of India(MCI) — the apex regulatory body of doctors and the medical practice in the country — has decided to shrink its own jurisdiction. It has reinterpreted its code of ethics regulations as being applicable only to individual doctors and not doctors' associations. 

Clause 6.8 of the Code of Medical Ethics Regulation 2002 clearly states that it pertains to "code of conduct for doctors and professional association of doctors in their relationship with pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry". However, the executive committee of the new MCI in its meeting on February 18 decided that the term "association of doctors" be deleted from the clause. It went on to add that any action it took it against any association of doctors by virtue of clause 6.8 shall be nullified and that such proceedings would stand annulled. 

In effect, the MCI has stated that the action it took against the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for endorsing products of Pepsi and Dabur in exchanges for crores of rupees or against the Indian Academy of Paediatrics for accepting funding from pharmaceutical companies will no longer be valid. 

"It is a ridiculous position. The MCI itself had argued in an affidavit filed in the Delhi high court that what is prohibited for an individual doctor cannot be done by the doctor along with another bunch of doctors by forming an association," said Dr K V Babu, who had filed the original complaint against the IMA for endorsing products. 

Endorsement is expressly forbidden by the code of ethics, which says that no doctor ought to endorse any commercial product or drug or therapeutic article. In November 2010, the MCI had initiated action against officer bearers of the IMA on the endorsement issue. When one of the office bearers challenged the removal of his name from the medical register for six months before the high court, the MCI had argued in its affidavit that "...what is not allowed to be done directly cannot be permitted to be done indirectly".


more at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/MCI-shrinks-own-ambit-doctor-bodies-out-of-ethics-code/articleshow/30873980.cms


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Indian pharma firms can't be judged by U.S. standards

Indian pharma firms can't be judged by U.S. standards | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

Hours after the US drug regulator banned imports from a fourth factory of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, the drug controller general of India G.N. Singh chose to back the Indian company, saying the current situation may not require withdrawal of its medicines from the local market.


On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) barred Ranbaxy, a subsidiary of Japan's Daiichi Sankyo, from producing or distributing drug ingredients manufactured at its Toansa facility in Punjab for the US market.


The FDA has already banned imports from Ranbaxy's plants in Mohali in Punjab, Dewas in Madhya Pradesh and Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh. At the Toansa facility, the regulator found the company's staff found that workers retested drug products to produce acceptable findings after the items originally failed analytical testing. While the US has banned imports from these facilities, the Indian pharma market continues to use raw materials from these plants. Singh in an interview said, "Indian pharmaceutical companies cannot be judged by American standards." Edited excerpts:


Were the other three plants of the company found to be in violation of India's Drugs and Cosmetics Act?


We had approached them last year after US FDA flagged certain issues. Some of those were found to be true and my office had told Ranbaxy to take corrective measures. Similar procedures will be followed in this case as well. But I do not think this is a situation which will warrant withdrawal of drugs from the domestic market. Our biggest objective is to maintain good quality of medicines and we are doing that. There are no drugs in the Indian market that are not up to the standards stated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. We will shortly be in touch with Ranbaxy's management to find out what went wrong at the Toansa plant.



Will such decisions adversely affect India's image as a manufacturer of safe, affordable drugs?


As of today, India supplies low-cost drugs to over 200 countries. Our pharmaceutical sector is a huge success. We cannot be doing well if our drugs were of substandard quality. Many multinational pharmaceutical companies stand to gain if India loses its image as a supplier of quality drugs. However, we will take appropriate action. We are in the process of streamlining the drug regulation in India and fundamental changes will be taking place soon. I am not worried about issues of quality



Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2014/01/indian-pharma-firms-cant-judged-u-s-standards/#ixzz2rNuMeTBQ


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