Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 9th July, 2019

Budget Highlights: Income-tax (Part 1)

1.The threshold limit for reduced tax rate of 25% in case of domestic companies has been increased from Rs. 250 crores to Rs. 400 crores. Thus, a domestic company whose total turnover or the gross receipt in the previous year 2017-2018 does not exceed Rs. 400 crore shall be taxable at the rate of 25%.

2.A new Section 80EEA has been inserted to provide for deduction of up to Rs. 1.50 lakhs for interest on loan taken from any financial institution for acquisition of a residential house property whose stamp duty value does not exceed Rs. 45 lakhs.

3.A new section 80EEB has been inserted to provide for a deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakhs in respect of interest on loan taken for purchase of an electric vehicle from any financial institution.

4.The new rate of surcharge for Individual, HUF, AOP, BOI and AJP shall be - 10% (for income of Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore), 15% (for income of Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crores), 25% (for income of Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 5 crores) and 37% (for income exceeding 5 crores).

5.Any sum of money paid, or any property situated in India transferred, on or after July 5, 2019 by a person resident in India to a person outside India shall be deemed to accrue or arise in India under Section 9.

6.Furnishing of return of income shall be mandatory under Section 139 if an individual has deposited Rs. 1 crore or more in current account or he has incurred expenditure of Rs. 2 lakhs or more on foreign travel or he has incurred expenditure of Rs. 1 lakh or more on electricity consumption.

7.Income-tax return can be filed using Aadhaar Number, if person hasn't been allotted PAN. If a person has linked his Aadhaar number with PAN, he may also furnish his Aadhaar number in place of PAN in the Income-tax return.....to be continued

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

The rapid spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across East and Southeast Asia is threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of households in the region which rely on pig farming, The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reported on Tuesday.

Small scale farmers account for a significant proportion of pig meat production in the vast region, and the outbreak is of particular concern for these producers, who may lack the expertise and funds necessary to protect their herds from the disease.

FAO has received reports that ASF has led to income losses in the affected countries, where tens of millions of households are engaged in pig farming – in China, the world’s largest pig meat producer, the figure is some 130 million – both because of the animal losses, and attempts by governments to stem the spread of the disease, which include limitations on the transportation and sales of live pigs and pork products. Since the first reported outbreak of ASF in the northern Chinese province of Liaoning in August 2018, the disease has swept through the country, and 32 of the country’s 34 mainland provinces have since been affected.

ASF is a contagious viral disease that affects pigs and wild boars causing high fever, internal bleeding, and is almost always fatal within a few weeks, as there is no treatment or vaccine available. The disease is harmless for humans. It spreads easily between domestic and wild pigs through direct contact, the feeding of contaminated food and materials that come into contact with the animals, including shoes, clothes, vehicles and equipment… (UN)

IMC (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Lure of the Lucre

Reproduced from: http://www.indialegallive.com/health/indian-medical-council-amendment-bill-2019-lure-of-the-lucre-68347, published July 7, 2019

Even as the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to ensure transparency in medical education, the fact is that private hospitals are increasingly getting commercialised even as patient-doctor trust gets eroded

In a move to ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education, a new bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament—the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It seeks to replace the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance issued by the previous government. The Bill will supersede the Indian Medical Council (MCI) for a period of two years, during which a 12-member board of governors, instead of the earlier seven, will run the regulatory body for medical education. During this period, the board of governors shall exercise powers and functions of the MCI as assigned under the IMC Act, 1956......read more

Screen all pregnant women for GBS colonization to prevent newborn infections

The updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on management of infants at risk for group B streptococcal (GBS) disease support universal antenatal microbiologic-testing of pregnant women for the detection of maternal GBS colonization so that appropriate intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis may be administered to prevent transmission of the bacteria from mother to the newborn before or during delivery as also recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Published online July 8, 2019 in the journal Pediatrics, the AAP recommendations for infant care include:

  • Administering antibiotic during childbirth, when indicated and as recommended by the ACOG to protect the newborn from transmission of GBS.

  • In evaluating the risk of GBS infection in the newborn, infants born at =35 0/7 weeks gestation and those born at =34 6/7 weeks gestation should be considered separately. Infants born at 34 6/7 weeks gestation are preterm and are at highest risk for early-onset sepsis, including Group B streptococcal disease......read more

Prayer for Inner Happiness

Stress is defined as the physical and mental reaction to the interpretation of a known situation. In absence of a known situation there cannot be a stress. One cannot be stressful for a person who has just died in New York in an accident unless he or she is a known person.

There has to be a right, conscience–based interpretation of the situation as the same situation can bring happiness to one and stress to the other......read more

Healthcare News Monitor

AIIMS may conduct first lung transplant by August

ET Healthworld

New Delhi: AIIMS may conduct its first lung transplant by next month. All India Institute of Medical Sciences has received the licence to perform the life-saving procedure and, sources said, three to four patients have been shortlisted for the surgery that involves replacing the diseased lung of a person with a healthy lung received from a deceased donor. “We have the necessary infrastructure and trained manpower. If a lung is available, the transplant will be carried out,” Dr Randeep Guleria, the director of AIIMS, told TOI.

Unlike kidney and liver transplant, where even near relatives can donate a part of their organ for transplant, lung transplants can only be carried out with organ donated by a deceased donor, like in the case of heart transplant. Also, lung transplant is suggested only when all other treatment options have been exhausted and the patient has reached end-stage lung failure. Dr Guleria said very few centres in India are conducting lung transplant at present. “In private hospitals, the cost is so high that people cannot afford it. In our hospital, surgery is free of cost but for lung transplant, we are planning to provide even the medicines free of cost so that needy patients aren’t burdened by the finances involved,” he added.

Docs angry as health sector not discussed in budget speech

Ludhiana: City-based doctors have expressed anguish over the Union Budget speech as it carried no mention of the health and medicine sectors. Dr Arun Mitra, senior vice-president, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development and core committee member of Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, said, “It has happened for the first time that the health and medicine sectors got no mention in the budget speech.”

In her address, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman referred to a number of issues related to the health sector, but said those were mentioned in the text and one could read it. “This is belittling the importance of the issues. The marginal increase in the budgetary allocation for these sectors is only to offset inflation. No policy was announced to streamline drug prices, strengthening public sector pharmaceutical units or regulating prices of medical equipment,” claimed Mitra. She added that nothing was said about strengthening ESI. “It is unfortunate that the finance minister also forgot about the poor children who died because of malnutrition-induced encephalitis in Muzaffarpur,” said Mitra.

Haryana: Doctor shot dead in Karnal, opposition slams BJP govt

India Today-PTI

A 56-year-old doctor was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne persons here, the Haryana Police said Sunday. Rajiv Gupta, who owned a hospital, was shot when he was going towards a market in his car on Saturday and he succumbed to injuries at a hospital, police said. Following the incident, opposition Congress slammed the BJP government in the state, alleging that it had failed to ensure the safety of its citizens. Three people, who had covered their faces, stopped the motorcycle in front of the doctor's SUV and fired at him. Two of three bullets hit Gupta, police said. Gupta was attacked when he along with his driver were going towards Chaura Bazaar, they said. Eight police teams have been formed to investigate the matter, Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Manoj Yadava said Sunday, asserting that those behind the incident will be nabbed soon. Police have also detained several persons in connection with the case, the DGP said. Investigations are on and we have got some important leads which are being worked out. All possible angles are being looked into. We are pursuing the leads and are hopeful of success, Yadava, who inspected the crime scene on Sunday, said. "First we have to find out who are the criminals. Our teams are working on it and we are trying our best, he said, adding that the motive of the crime is still not clear. The Karnal assembly segment is represented by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and opposition parties slammed his government for the incident, claiming that the law and order has collapsed in the state.

AiMed expresses anguish over continued neglect of domestic medical device manufacturers by govt


The All India Medical Devices (AiMeD) has expressed deep anguish over continued neglect of the domestic medical devices manufacturers by the government. Despite umpteen reminders, the Union Budget 2019-20 has not heeded to our suggestions on extending tax and non-tax protection to our industry, Forum Coordinator of AiMed Rajiv Nath said. “We at AIMED are shell shocked to see that no action has been taken by the government to stem the tsunami of imports of 24% at Rs.38,800 crore that is crushing Indian medical device manufacturing,” Nath said and added, “It is appalling to notice that since last 3 years, it is the first budget with zero mention on healthcare not even higher allocation for Ayushman Bharat.” Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME) dominated medical devices industry is staring at a worst jolt ever, thanks to GST as imports become 11% cheaper and shoot up 24%. Data from the Commerce Ministry and compiled by AiMeD shows imports of medical devices have increased by record 24% at Rs.7450 crore from Rs.31386 crore in 2017-2018 to Rs.38,837 crore in 2018-2019. “Since the market is barely growing at 10-12%, a 24% increase in imports would mean further erosion of 10-30% in market share of domestic industry which may account for just 10- 20% market share,” Nath stated. In other words, sunrise sector of medical devices faces sunset year with 24% sharp rise in imports if the government does not take corrective measures to promote indigenous manufacturing. This is indeed very sad, especially when the government is taking credit for resounding success of its flagship policy dispensation of “Make In India”, envisioned to promote higher GDP growth and employment generation. On the contrary, the government seems to be telling the domestic medical devices manufacturers ‘Not To Make In India’ as it is promoting large scale imports of medical devices.

Gorakhpur doctor arrested for child deaths narrates family ordeal

The Telegraph- Subhajoy Roy

The Gorakhpur doctor who was arrested in connection with the death of multiple kids at the hospital where he worked after it ran out of bottled oxygen in August 2017 alleged on Sunday that his family had been ostracised. Kafeel Khan, a paediatrician at Baba Raghav Das Medical College (BRDMC) in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, said he had written over 25 letters to senior officials of the Uttar Pradesh government and chief minister Yogi Adityanath but was yet to get any response. Kafeel said he wanted the government to revoke his suspension or terminate his service. Khan was in Calcutta on the occasion of the screening of a film on his life and the tragedy at BRDMC at Jogesh Mime Academy. After the screening, he delivered a lecture on Public Health in Crisis. “It has been nearly two years since I was suspended. I have been without any income. I have not done anything wrong. I should be able to earn for my family,” Khan told Metro. “We have a lot of land back home. We tried to sell the land at a low price but no one wanted to buy from us. Everyone is afraid to engage with us.” The UP government had held Khan and eight others responsible for the death of at least 60 infants over a span of five days. On August 10, 2017, the agency that provided oxygen to BRDMC had stopped supply because of non-payment of dues totalling Rs 68 lakh. Khan had arranged multiple cylinders from another hospital and an agency. He was arrested early in September that year.