Health News update is a weekly news collation of health news which is shared on the Repro health list serve and archived on this website.

Health News

December 2011

40 medical institutions to be part of govt health scheme

Pune: 16th December 2011

With 40 hospitals being roped in under the Central Government Health Scheme, more than one lakh beneficiaries of the scheme in the city stand to benefit from the move. “While 28 hospitals and four diagnostic centres have been empanelled, another eight hospitals have been shortlisted,” said additional director of CGHS Dr Eknath Kanade.

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Kids with rheumatic heart: Alarm bells ring

New Delhi: 22nd December 2011

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) among Indian children could be 20 times more than what is believed. A study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in and around Delhi to see prevalence of RHD among children in northern India found prevalence of 20.4/1000 school children as against 1 per 1000 children earlier believed.

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Mental healthcare in dire straits

New Delhi: 22nd December 2011

With around 7% of India’s population suffering from some form of mental disorder, the health ministry is now focusing on increasing the country’s annual output of qualified mental health professionals. Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said India has only 23% of the required psychiatrists and 25% of required psychiatric nurses. In view of this critical shortage, the ministry, under the National Mental Health Programme, has allocated Rs 470 crore for manpower development through 11 Institutions of Excellence across the country, which will help produce 1,756 qualified mental health professionals annually, Azad said.

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Doctors’ strike hits health services in Rajasthan

Jaipur: 22nd December 2011

The medical and health services across Rajasthan were affected for the second consecutive day on Thursday due to ongoing strike by the doctors. The doctors have been demanding pay parity with doctors at the Central Government hospitals. They decided to stop work after talks with the Ashok Gehlot government collapsed.

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‘Anti-sex selection Act unequal to curb foeticide'

New Delhi: 22nd December 2011

Of 61 cases filed against medical practitioners in Delhi under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 18 have been disposed of without subjecting the doctors to any rigorous legal checks and scrutiny. “Disposal” primarily meant the complainants withdrawing the cases. Sharing her perspective at an interaction here on Wednesday, Bijaylakshmi Nanda, member of the State Supervisory Board, attributed this weak response to improper implementation of the law.

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7 held for CGHS medicine racket

New Delhi: 21st December 2011

The Crime Branch has arrested a pharmacist of Ganga Ram Hospital and six others for stealing drugs from the hospital and CGHS and selling them in the market. The arrested have been identified as Rajender Chauhan, who is a pharmacist-cum-store keeper at Ganga Ram Hospital, Vivek Singh alias Vicky (26), Vijay Ahuja, Atul Jain, Sachin Kumar, Hardeep Singh and Satish Kathuria.

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India gearing up to curb communicable diseases

New Delhi: 21st December 2011

Calling communicable diseases a "major public health challenge", Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said various socio-economic and environmental reasons underlie the growing burden of communicable diseases. "Communicable diseases pose a major public health challenge for India. The country is vulnerable to emerging and re-emerging diseases because of the existing environmental, socio-economic and demographic situation," Azad said speaking at a meeting of the Health Ministry's Consultative Committee of Parliament

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Himachal expands health cover to more groups

Shimla: 19th December 2011

Himachal Pradesh has included workers employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and domestic servants in the National Health Insurance Scheme. MNREGA workers, who got employment for at least 15 days in a year, construction workers, the physically challenged with 70 per cent disability, domestic servants and wayside vendors would be eligible for the health insurance scheme by paying a premium of Rs 30, an official statement quoting Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said.

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Global health funding slows as deadline for MDGs nears

New Delhi: 18th December 2011

Developed countries and funding agencies are putting the brakes on growth in development assistance for health, raising the possibility that developing countries will have an even harder time meeting the Millennium Development Goals deadline — 2015, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Even as aid continued to grow, reaching $27.73 billion in 2011, significant cutbacks in the United States slowed the growth rate in development assistance to 4 per cent between 2010 and 11 — the slowest in a decade.

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Chhattisgarh facing doctors’ shortage

Raipur: 23rd December 2011

Chhattisgarh, which has poor health facilities in the interior areas, is short of 1,846 doctors, the State Assembly was informed on Friday. "The state has 187 hospitals where 2,030 doctors are posted but still the hospitals are short of 1,846 doctors," Health Minister Amar Agrawal told the House in a written reply, reports IANS. He said the Health Department had a massive budget of around Rs 155 crore for the 2011-12 fiscal and the government was striving to deploy doctors in all areas, even in remote pockets.

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India to launch special programme to curb anaemia

New Delhi: 23rd December 2011

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will soon launch a Weekly Iron and Folic Supplementation (WIFS) programme. The programme, to be implemented across the country, will cover nearly 12 crore adolescents. The Ministry has suggested to the States that a fixed day in a week, preferably a Monday, be earmarked as the day when Iron and Folic Acid tablet is provided to adolescents. Funding for implementation of the scheme to the States would be provided under the National Rural Health Mission.

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MP govt orders probe into drug tests on mentally ill

Indore: 21st December 2011

A day after TOI exposed how government doctors in Indore subjected 233 mentally ill patients to clinical trials to check the efficacy of various drugs, the Madhya Pradesh health ministry has ordered a probe into the scandal. If was found that 42 of the patients were tested for Dapoxetine, a drug to cure premature ejaculation.

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New health scheme for Assam employees

Guwahati: 9th December 2011

Assam government will launch a complete health insurance scheme for government employees from April next year. The new health scheme will replace the health bonus system being offered currently approved under the Sixth Pay Commission. The new scheme will cover all employees of the state government and take care of their healthcare needs. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced this on Friday and said that the government would implement the central health service scheme for the state government employees.

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Curb pesticides in veggies: HC

New Delhi:9th December 2011
Delhi high court has directed the central and state governments to chalk out a plan within two months to ensure that vegetables and fruits are not treated with pesticides beyond the permissible limit during farming. A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Rajiv Shakdhar asked various government authorities to convene a meeting to come up with a solution to the problem affecting the health of citizens. It also asked them to identify the stage at which toxins make their way into the eatables.

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Jharkhand moots PPP mode for govt hospitals

Ranchi: 12th December 2011

After the neighbouring Bengal, it is now Jharkhand that has planned public-private-partnership (PPP) venture for running government hospitals in the State. The newly built 500-bed Sadar Hospital at Ranchi will be the first such healthcare institution to be operated under the PPP mode, the expression of interest would soon be out to rope in reputed group of the country. Justifying the move, State Health Minister Hemlal Murmu said the State Government had proposed to go for PPP mode for want of availability of qualified and specialist doctors and trained nursing and paramedical staffs in the State.

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Delhi govt to give pension to HIV patients, orphans

New Delhi: 1st December 2011

The Delhi government plans to grant pensions to HIV patients, registered for treatment at Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres. Announcing the new policy on World AIDS Day, Delhi Health minister Dr A K Walia said children who lost their parents to HIV but are not infected by the virus themselves will also be covered under the scheme. Later, Walia told Newsline, “We will process funds to grant a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for all HIV positive patients registered in ART centres, and Rs 1,650 will be granted monthly to HIV positive children.”

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Massive drive to curb cancer, heart ailments

New Delhi: 13th December 2011

India will be the only country in the world to screen its entire 125 crore population for prevention of cancer and some other non-communicable diseases in the next five years, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Azad said that the government has already launched a pilot project across 100 districts in 21 states for prevention and control of cancer, cardio-vascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes.

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Govt hospitals have to renew fire clearance

New Delhi: 13th December 2011
All government hospitals will have to renew their fire clearance certificates within a month, said Delhi health minister A K Walia. He held a meeting on fire-safety measures in government hospitals with officials and PWD engineers. This comes in the wake of the blaze in AMRI in Kolkata that has claimed 93 lives so far.

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New trauma centre to come up in Rajasthan

Jaipur: 13th December 2011

The Rajasthan Government will soon construct a new trauma centre at the Suratgarh community health centre in Sriganganagar district at a cost of Rs.1.92 crore to provide timely medical care to victims of road accidents and patients brought in during emergencies. State Medical and Health Minister Aimaduddin Ahmed Khan said during his visit to Suratgarh that the trauma centre would have all modern facilities and the latest gadgets for providing treatment to patients. He said more doctors and paramedical personnel would be appointed to Government hospitals.

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Activists slam device claiming to curb female foeticide

New Delhi: 15th December 2011

Women rights activists and health experts Thursday slammed a device claiming to curb cases of female foeticide by recording sonography tests and monitoring doctors. 'Silent Observer', a device attached to a sonography machine, records the name of every patient and carries a photograph of her sonograms to deter those wanting to abort a girl child. A password would ensure that the data would be accessible only to the government.

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Big B wants polio-free nation, happy no polio case in 2011

New Delhi: 15th December 2011

Bollywood megastar and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Amitabh Bachchan is happy with the drop in numbers of polio-affected children in India and hopes that the country will get totally free from the disease. "For one whole year for the first time since I took over the brand Ambassador of Polio UNICEF campaign, we have zero cases in India. Feel proud and delighted that finally our efforts have been successful. Started in 2002, with over 1000 cases and today just one in West Bengal," Amitabh posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.

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