Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:20 January,2020

Nudging India Towards Better Health: Incorporating Behavioural Economics Into Healthcare

In healthcare, the potential for nudging both doctors and patients towards decisions that lead to better (and cheaper) care is all but unlimited.

By Ayesha Jhunjhunwala

Given India’s dismal track record in enabling access to high quality healthcare (we rank 145 out of 190 countries which puts us below both Bangladesh and Bhutan), the government’s recent push for universal coverage is in many ways too little too late. What’s more, despite the rhetoric around expanding access and the Modi government’s promises of raising expenditure from the current ~1.2% to 2.5% of GDP, precious little airtime is given to measuring or advocating for better efficiency and effectiveness of the money spent. Simply put we need to figure out how to make our money work harder. One way to improve the quality of public health spending is to ‘nudge’ doctors and patients towards better decisions. ....read more

Practice-Changing Studies from American College of Gastroenterology

1.Oral budesonide suspension 2 mg for 12 weeks shows striking efficacy for eosinophilic esophagitis.

2.Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is increasingly being emphasized in adult gastroenterology. This is a diagnosis thats established by restriction or avoidance of food intake that is associated with weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, dependence on tube feedings or oral supplements, or significant psychosocial impairment....read more

Spiritual Prescriptions: Prefer Meditation and Not Medication

Meditation, and not medication, should be the first-line of treatment for most lifestyle disorders. The very fact that our body has a receptor for each and every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug. God did not make these receptors for pharmacological agents or drugs. The key lies in achieving the undisturbed state of consciousness, which can be obtained by either controlling the disturbed state of mind or bypassing it by using the mantra....read more

Health Sutras By Dr K K Aggarwal

Fat liquid at room temperature is unsaturated fat.



Healthcare News Monitor

Local pharma traders in Pondicherry face stiff competition from traders from other states
Pharmabiz India - Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

Since competition among traders of pharmaceutical wholesale business has increased alarmingly in the trade sector in the union territory of Pondicherry due to the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, wholesale business people from all parts of Tamil Nadu and nearby states are rushing into the UT to find new areas for their business growth. This poses a big threat to the local distributors and stiff competition is emerging in the market between the local traders and traders from other parts of the country. Before the introduction of GST, there was restriction of outside traders to come to Pondicherry for business because of VAT norms which varied from state to state. This influx of traders from other states is edging out the local traders, especially the wholesalers, from the market and their survival is at stake, feels, M Ravichandran, president of the Pondicherry Chemists & Distributors Welfare Association (PCDWA). In addition to this, the increasing number of online pharmacy business also impacts the pharmaceutical trade in the union territory. Online pharma traders give 20–25 per cent discount on all medicines to the consumers who, because of this benefit, go after online and chain pharmacies, he added.

Health ministry issues reframed draft national policy for treatment of rare diseases
Pharmabiz India - Nandita Vijay

The Union health ministry has issued the reframed draft National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases (NPTRD), 2020. The ministry has invited comments and views from the stakeholders on the policy till February 15, 2020. The draft policy aims at lowering the incidence and prevalence of rare diseases based on an integrated and comprehensive preventive strategy encompassing awareness generation and screening programmes to prevent births of children with rare diseases, and, within the constraints on resources and competing health care priorities, enable access to affordable health care to patients of rare diseases which are amenable to one-time treatment. Considering the limited data available on rare diseases, and in the light of competing health priorities, the focus shall be on prevention of rare diseases as a priority for all the three groups of rare diseases identified by Experts. Public Health and hospitals being a State subject, the Central Government shall encourage & support the States in their endeavour towards screening and prevention of rare diseases. As per the draft policy, financial support up to Rs.15 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi will be provided by the Central Government for treatment of those rare diseases that require a one-time treatment (diseases listed under Group I). Beneficiaries for such financial assistance would not be limited to BPL families, but extended to 40% of the population who are eligible as per norms of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, for their treatment in government tertiary hospitals only.

Sub-standard equipment postpone surgeries at Doon Hosp
The Times of India-TNN

Dehradun: Orthopaedic transplants and certain other operations are not being conducted in Government Doon Medical College Hospital (GDMCH) for three days now after GDMCH doctors found out that the medical equipment to be used in the surgeries were sub-standard in quality. Sunil Verma (name changed) was supposed to be operated at Doon Hospital last Wednesday but his operation was postponed after the ortho-surgeon at GDMCH found implant instruments to be of sub-standard quality. Verma told TOI that he had come to Dehradun (http://www.happytrips.com/topic/Dehradun) from Pauri especially for the operation. “I came to Dehradun and arranged for an accommodation for my family. But my operation was postponed due to inferior quality equipment. I wasn’t even given another date for my operation. We have been left in the lurch,” he alleged. Notably, GDMCH principal Dr Ashutosh Sayana has now tasked “Ayushman Mitras” with ensuring that all the equipment are approved by the doctor prior to an operation. According to GDMCH sources, around eight operations have been halted as doctors complained of sub-standard quality of equipment and implants. Meanwhile, Dr Sayana told TOI that a meeting was held between doctors and the third party agency that supplies operational instruments and implants. In the meeting, it was decided that they will be taking a pre-approval of their product from the doctors before surgery. “The third party agency has been warned against supplying sub-standard equipment and Ayushman Mitras have been assigned the responsibility to coordinate with patients and doctors so that such incidents do not take place in the future,” said Dr Sayana, while adding that orthopaedic operations will be conducted at the hospital from Monday onwards. A team of doctors and junior employees has also been constituted under the supervision of a doctor to keep strict vigil on touts and middlemen inside the hospital, the principal added.

Newborn girl stolen from West Bengal hospital
India Today

A newborn girl was stolen from a government hospital in Purba Barddhaman district of West Bengal on Sunday by a woman who lured her parents with the promise of getting them money from a scheme, police said. The accused woman was identified through CCTV footage of the hospital and efforts are on to nab her and rescue the baby, police said. The girl was born in the maternity ward of the Barddhaman Medical College and Hospital on Friday and the baby and her mother, Rima Malik, were released on Sunday, Deputy Superintendent of the hospital Dr Amitabha Saha said. When the family members were leaving the hospital, a woman came to them claiming to be a social worker. She told them that the government provides Rs 6,000 to all girl child born in hospitals, Saha said. The accused woman took the family to another government hospital and sent the newborn's parents on errands and fled with the baby. Police said they have started an investigation.