Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                            Dated: 20th July,2019

Health Ministry signs MoUs with three Ministries for enhanced cooperation to end TB by 2025

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare exchanged Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Railways to strengthen inter-ministerial coordination and efforts towards Tuberculosis-free India by 2025. Speaking at the function, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that under the inspirational and visionary leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, the government has announced to the world of our commitments and intentions to end TB by 2025, a good five years ahead of the global targets. “I am sure that the integrated and multi-sectoral approach will galvanize support and commitment from key stakeholders and seek for their contribution towards India’s aim of ending TB Free 2025,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The Union Health Minister further said that ‘multisectoral action’ is one of the key strategies which makes a strong case for transforming India’s TB elimination efforts from a siloed health sector response to a holistic approach. Citing the example of polio to highlight multi-sectoral approach, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that TB is not only a medical problem, it has social dimensions and needs to be addressed through multi-sectoral approach… (PIB, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, July 18, 2019)

New rules for organizing social functions in Delhi

The Delhi Government has issued a draft policy for holding social functions in hotels, motels and low density residential areas (villages containing existing farm houses clusters – urban extension areas) in Delhi. The policy specifically takes into consideration to extravagance in expenditure and food wastage, waste management and safety of persons attending such functions.

All farmhouses, hotels, etc. hosting such events will now have to adhere to the directives in the policy. Some of the directives are:....read more

Rule of the week: The two-hour pain rule

This rule is a useful guideline to evaluate excessive activity. If a patient has pain for two hours after the activity, it means he or she has done too much (Arthritis Foundation and the Arthritis Self-Management Course advocate use of the two-hour pain rule )

A new triple-drug combination antibiotic for complicated UTIs and intra-abdominal infections

A combination of imipenem, cilastatin and relebactam has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) resulting from Gram-negative microorganisms. The drug is intended for use in situations when there are limited or no alternative antibacterial drugs for treating the infection.

Available as an injection, the three-drug combination includes imipenem-cilastatin, which is already a FDA-approved antibiotic and relebactam, a new beta-lactamase inhibitor......read more


Healthcare News Monitor

NHA looks to make Ayushman Bharat more viable

The Economic Times– Divya Rajagopal

The National Health Authority (NHA) managing the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme is considering introducing a ‘collective bargaining’ policy for medical devices, seeking to answer criticism that the programme lacks sufficient viability at the specified procedure rates. The idea behind this policy is to lower purchase costs for hospitals, helping make the procedure rates sustainable that would allow the scheme to expand to more number of beneficiaries, said top officials associated with the scheme. Indu Bhushan, CEO of NHA, told ET that as is seen globally, countries moving towards universal health coverage are in a better place to collectively bargain with pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers as they negotiate the prices on a country level, rather than a state/province or the hospital level. With the launch of PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana), covering more about 10.74 crore families, National Health Authority (NHA) is in that unique position to explore collective bargaining with these providers. However, NHA will be exploring this in coordination with National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which is the nodal authority in the country for this purpose. NHA will also be conducting industry-wide consultations to rationalise and rework the prices of drugs, implants and devices, Bhushan added.

Govt floats idea for Aadhaar-like database for mapping citizen health

Business Standard- Neha Alawadhi

The government has proposed mapping health data of citizens and building a National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) on the lines of the Aadhaar database, and set up ‘digital health’ as public infrastructure. In a detailed National Digital Health Blueprint, which is open for comments until August 4, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has laid out standards, framework, and data analytics principles for a technology-based infrastructure. Authored under the chairmanship of the ex-Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman J Satyanarayana, the blueprint proposes that the NDHM be a hybrid of the goods and services tax network, UIDAI (the agency that administers Aadhaar), and the National Payments Corporation of India, given that health is a state subject, and to incorporate private sector, including service providers and insurance. The NDHM has proposed to provide the technology platform for collection of core health data from the providers and patients and interoperability of health care data through a unique identifier called the Unique Health Identifier. Other components include The Health Cloud, on the lines of the government community cloud of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, a Health Locker that will serve as a personal health record repository with consent, and health analytics.

Department of Forensic Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi Calls for Implementation of One-Stop Sexual Assault Examination Centres With DNA Testing Facilities Across India

Outlook India

The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) New Delhi, Delhi, India: Business Wire India In a symposium on the ‘Role of Forensic DNA Technology in Expediting Justice and Fighting Crime, held at India International Centre today, an expert panel led by the forensic department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, called for country-wide implementation of one-stop sexual assault examination, care, and research centres enabled with state-of-the-art DNA collection and testing facilities. Dr Sudhir K Gupta, Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi said, “The lack of proper facilities at hospitals has a direct correlation with the quality of DNA evidence collected. The results for the vaginal swabs and semen samples can be analysed quickly to help catch the culprit but currently 80-90% samples do not yield viable results either because they are not collected and sealed properly, or because they are stored at an unsuitable temperature. There is a dire need for educating and training first-line responders on proper collection & handling of DNA samples while at the same time creating dedicated infrastructure to attend to rape survivors.” Even though 40,000 cases of rape have been reported in India every year, post-trauma care that survivors get at authorised hospitals remains poor. Presently, government hospitals just provide a room in the existing gynaecological emergency with no dedicated forensic staff and even send them off to the regular OPD (out-patient department) which can take days. Dr Deepa Verma, Director, Delhi FSL said, “Creation of one-stop sexual assault examination and care centres is a step in the right direction. In any case pertaining to sexual assault or rape at known or unknown sites, forensic evidence needs to be preserved at all costs and handled with care.

AIOCD discusses e-pharmacy policy with Union commerce ministry raising issues like predatory pricing

Pharmabiz India – Shardul Nautiyal

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) in a recent meeting with Union commerce ministry discussed the draft e-pharmacy policy and raised issues like predatory pricing and other issues like aggregator's role in online pharmacy not being clearly defined and the existing cash on delivery mechanism in online prescription drugs sale. The meeting was called by the Union commerce ministry to deliberate on AIOCD memorandum on online pharmacy submitted to the government. Additional commerce secretary Shailendra Singh, deputy secretary Surabhi Sharma and Nayonika Dutta made a note of all submissions made by AIOCD and assured that it would further be discussed with Union Health Ministry. AIOCD general secretary Rajiv Singhal and AIOCD joint secretary Vaijnath Jagushte among others participated in the meeting. In the meeting, it was also deliberated that drug company should have control over its inventory and penal action should be made in case of violations. Medicine is not a normal commodity and has to be sold and prescribed under medical supervision. Selling medicines online is in contravention to the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, 1940 and Rules 1945.

MP: Hospitals overcrowded, IAS officer takes 70 kids home

The Times of India- Amarjeet Singh

BHOPAL: When the government hospital got overcrowded as more than 500 anaemic kids arrived at Sidhi district headquarters for blood tests, district collector took more than 70 kids to his official residence, on Wednesday. All the kids are now staying at his house and will be provided the remaining treatment on Thursday. It is noteworthy that the state government is running a drive for anaemic kids named, "Dastak". Under the scheme, anaemic kids are identified and brought for blood tests at district hospitals and if the problem is found to be acute then then blood transfusion is also done. Under the same scheme, an unexpected 530 children were brought from all over the district to the headquarters by the health workers on Wednesday. "Besides, district hospital where we could house more than 200 children, we had also made arrangements at some private hospitals and also at Manas Bhavan in the district. The drive is on for past one week and so far blood transfusion of more than 600 anaemic kids have been done. On an average 100-125 children were coming every day," district collector Sidhi, Abhishek Singh told TOI.