HCFI wishes all students best of luck for examinations

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Healthy diet, good sleep, and exercise are the three pillars to avoid examination stress

New Delhi, 17 February 2018: A recent multi-city survey has indicated that about 70% students do not get the required seven hours of sleep in the weeks leading up to final examinations. Of the 6,500 children surveyed, about 18% sleep for only three to five hours a day. Two in three students indicated that there was more homework and assignments than what they could handle.

Stress levels are also on the peak in children during exams as children spend a lot of time in their room. The free time students have is spent on social media interactions. About 34% students reported spending between one and three hours on computers and smart phones, including for schoolwork, with 11% spending between five and seven hours online.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Anticipatory anxiety peaks before exams resulting in adverse effects on the body and mind and therefore, a sub optimal performance. Stress can cause palpitations and tense muscles and reduce the ability to make decisions, act or express oneself including organization of thoughts. Stress during exams can make it difficult to read and understand questions and even to recall terms and concepts. A study has shown that 45 minutes of afternoon nap improves the declarative memory. Declarative memory is the memory of events learnt and understood earlier during the year.”

A healthy diet, good night’s sleep, and relaxation techniques enhance performance. At times, making flow charts and mnemonics can help in memorizing things better.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Free writing can help cleat mental stress. By spending 30 minutes each day for four days to write out your innermost thoughts and feelings, one can significantly boost mental and physical health. In expressive writing therapy, students are encouraged to express whatever is on their mind, letting their hopes and fears flow out in a natural, unrestrained way. Apart from this, parents should focus on giving children a healthy diet including frequent breaks.”

Some tips from HCFI.

  • Kids should not be compared: it can lead to anger or depression in the child.
  • One should unconditionally appreciate whatever the child has achieved.
  • One should avoid giving false promises for example if you come first, you will get a bike”. When that happens, “You are not yet 18 – so you can’t get a license. This time, settle for a bicycle and later we’ll get that bike”. Broken promises hurt the child.
  • Avoid anger chain, for example, the father unleashes his anger on the mother (because she does not answer back), and she takes it out on the child (because of the same reason). And the child takes it out on books or studies or younger sibling or hired help at home.
  • Do not force your expectations on the child, for example, you should only become a doctor.
  • Avoid giving the child two conflicting messages like mother asks child to study and father says – “do not force him”.
  • Make your child exercise daily and learn pranayama and meditation.
  • Provide your child with balanced and nutritious diet.  Avoid overeating or long hunger periods. Restrict caffeine, give more water.
  • Ensure adequate sleep with a consistent schedule to improve concentration, memory and mood, it also reduces irritability.

IMA-No Incentive Initiative

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During the Central Council Meeting in Amritsar, I had said in my presidential speech that IMA will have zero tolerance for unethical practices including sex selective abortions for non-medical purposes and cuts and commissions. And that IMA and the medical profession will boycott any person indulging in unethical sex selective practices.

I am happy to note that IMA Bagalkot Branch in Karnataka, under the Presidentship of Dr Shekhar Mane has taken up the “IMA-No Incentive Initiative”.

The draft undertaking by the branch states “INCENTIVES in any form cash, cheque, gifts, articles, parties etc. will NOT be given to or taken from any of our colleagues, referring doctors, RMP, quacks, ASHA workers, ambulances, laboratories etc.” Incentive means where no service is attached.

The branch also nominated an Ethical & Vigilance Committee comprising of 15 doctors with President and Secretary as ex officio member.

If any doctor or hospital violates this model code of conduct, then the complaint can be investigated by this ethical committee. The committee will discuss and counsel the doctor/s involved and send a notice to them directing compliance. The matter will also be brought to the notice of the Executive Committee or General Body for warning. The punitive action includes suspension from the local IMA branch and report to the MCI, KMC and other govt. regulatory authorities for necessary action.

In order to discourage crosspathy, the branch further resolved that all modern scientific medicine (allopathic) doctors must stop going to hospitals owned by practicing non allopathic doctors as visiting consultants.

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA and HCFI

Healthcare for all not possible with the present budget

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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.

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