Healthcare for all not possible with the present budget

Health Care Comments Off

In his speech when presenting the budget, the Finance Minister said that health for all and education for all is his priority but the budget allocation is only Rs. 37330 crores, which is an increase of only 7.5% in the last years allocation (planned and non-planned budget together). Medical fraternity expected it to be at least 2-3% of the GDP. Even allocation to AYUSH is only 1069 crores against 1650 crores allocated to six AIIMS-like institutions. If the Government really wanted to do something for promoting healthcare, they could have allocated for six AIIMS-like AYUSH institutions whose purpose should have been prevention so that people do not require allopathic tertiary care.

There are no tax holidays or tax exemptions for doctors living in rural areas in the present budge. Also, there was no relief for making VISA easy for medical tourism.

The Rs. 110 crores allocated for disability is not sufficient. Rs. 6000 crores should have been allocated for providing free generic drugs for people coming to government hospitals. This announcement was lacking in the budget.

Rs. 150 crores have been allocated for the care of the elderly, who constitute 8% of the total population. Elderly people usually do not have insurance as insurance companies do not give them a cover. At least 8% of the total health budget should have been allocated for the elderly.

Allocations to National Health Mission (NHM) (which covers both rural and urban population budget) is only Rs. 21200 crores, which is less than the amount used last year for which rural mission. It aims to provide urban mission money from the money received from the rural mission project. Separate budget should have been allocated for the urban mission.

Rs. 4727 crores allocated for training, education and research is also inadequate as unless you patent your own equipments and drugs, you are going to be dependent on foreign market.

India Medical Association in its recent meeting with Economic Advisor, Ministry of Health, Government of India had offered that every private doctor should be incorporated for providing healthcare facilities across the country, where the Government only had to invest on the human resource.

The government can start MD in Rural Medicine with a curriculum that teaches the art of treating the patients in limited resources. After that people can choose and do their respective post graduation. This way the doctors will not feel that it is a burden on them. There will be additional degree in MD in Rural Medicine Surgery. Such doctors serving in rural areas should be given income tax-free income.

National IMA (membership 2.2 lacs) and eMedinewS (readership 1 lac) recommendations to Justice Verma

Health Care Comments Off

1. The word penis should not be used (use male sex organs) anywhere in the law

2. The work vagina, labia majora should not be used anywhere in the law (Female sex organs)

3. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs the punishment should be different and treatment added. For rarest of the rare case death sentence can be added. People with abnormal sexual urges should be treated.

4. We must sensitize the parents, teachers and schools to identify red flag signals of an abnormal personality trait in children (present in up to 10% of children) so that they do not indulge in sexual offences later

5. Chemical castration is not acceptable to medical profession, is not safe, not health friendly is temporary and lead to corruption

6. Medical profession should help training all policemen in CPR and first aid

7. Every PCR van should be a mini ambulance also. One can post a paramedic in it for RTA and assault cases

8. Private hospital should be allowed to examine rape victims and guidelines should be pasted in every Emergency room

9. We need to define, issuing of medical bulletin, guidelines

10. Transfer to other country there should be a clear cut national policy and decide by a panel of treating doctors in consultation with Govt. health officials

11. Sick RTA or assaulted patients should b shifted to a nearby hospital (govt. or private) so that medical services are available within ten minutes and stabilized within one hour.

12. Forensic examination lab should be strengthened and should give results in time bound manner.

13. Most sexual assault cases occur in slum areas. Efforts should be made to create awareness in these areas

14. All accused should be compulsorily be tested for sexually transmissible illnesses and victims be considered for STI, HIV and pregnancy prevention treatments

15. All health care professionals to have compulsorily short term training in counselling, empathy, communication, etiquette as part of medical education.

Drafted by Dr KK Aggarwal for National IMA and eMedinews based on proceedings of a seminar organised by IMA and inaugurated by National President IMA, Dr K Vijaykumar.

Non-cardiac Chest Pain may Not be Benign

Health Care, Medicine Comments Off

Patients discharged with non cardiac chest pain may not always b with low risk as a new study shows a worrying one-year mortality rate of around 4% in this group, which is higher in patients with a previous psychiatric hospitalization. Around one-third of the deaths were cardiovascular, suggesting that a fairly substantial number of patients with heart disease are being missed when presenting to hospitals with chest pain. The study is published in European Heart Journal on December 1, 2011 by Dr Michelle Gillies from University of Glasgow, Scotland.

One should do a thorough review of the diagnostic parameters that lead to a diagnosis of non cardiac chest pain. In patients with negative high-sensitivity troponin and stress tests and in whom a specific non cardiac cause of the chest pain has not been identified, the use of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro BNP) or the measurement of unbound free fatty acids may be considered, which have shown high negative predictive abilities.

Given the known link between psychiatric and cardiovascular diseases, the best time for intensive cardiac evaluation would be at the initial psychiatric hospitalization or diagnosis of psychiatric illness, rather than at hospitalization for chest pain.

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