ICMC 2014: MANAGING HEALTH COMMUNICATION

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Issues about e-sale (medicines)

The government has proposed a set of rules for regulating the sale of medicines, including those by “e-pharmacies,” platforms that sell medicines online. Retail chemists across India have reacted negatively to these and even went on a one-day strike. If medicines are already being sold online, should they be stopped, or is it better to regulate them? If we accept the latter, then will the e-platform proposed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) help, or will it throw up a new set of problems?

 

Related news-Govt plans to set up e-platform to regulate sale of drugs: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/HUyV4QX8zdGznPkNCmU4zM/Govt-plans-to-set-up-eplatform-to-regulate-sale-of-drugs.html

 

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Outlook cover story on Medical business

Medical

Image Credit: OutlookIndia.com

Articles in cover story on medical business by OutlookIndia.com

  1. Imported medical devices are often indispensable. But 1,000 % mark-ups in prices? Hospitals, traders and doctors are playing a fast, smooth game, pushing patients towards financial ruin. Will the government ever wake up to these immoral medical practices? (Find story here by Lola Nayar…)
  2. Hospitals are hiking other charges to maintain profits, offsetting lower stent prices (Find story here by Lola Nayar & Arushi Bedi…)
  3. Indian-made medical devices can hit foreign firms’ market, end the mark-up regime. The neglected sector needs a vigorous push. (Find story here by Lola Nayar…)
  4. After controlling stent prices, the Modi government is preparing to take on expensive branded drugs with generic medicine stores across India (Find story here by…Zia Haq)

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Reducing Prejudice–> Reducing Hypertension

Prejudice-Post

How Prejudice Can Harm Your Health (by Dhruv Khullar, NYTimes)

“We tend to think of discrimination as a moral or legal issue, and perhaps, in the case of immigration, an economic one. But it’s also a medical issue with important public health consequences. A growing body of evidence suggests that racial and sexual discrimination is toxic to the cells, organs and minds of those who experience it.

Research suggests that discrimination is internalized over a lifetime, and linked to a variety of poor health markers and outcomes…” 

Complete Report: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/upshot/how-prejudice-can-harm-your-health.html

Related research:  Everyday discrimination, lifetime discrimination, burden of discrimination, and stress from discrimination were examined among 4939 participants aged 35 to 84 years (women = 3123; men = 1816). We estimated prevalence ratios of hypertension by discrimination, and adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and risk factors.

Link:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3477918/ (Perceived Discrimination and Hypertension Among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study–Published in American Journal of Public Health, 2012 May; 102(Suppl 2): S258–S265.)

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Additional read: Is it possible to cure prejudice and racism? (https://www.vice.com/en_nz/article/is-it-possible-to-cure-prejudice-and-racism)

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Feeling down? Let’s talk …

 

Believe me, Depression can be prevented, cured and eliminated.

Trust someone to talk about it.

Seek help.

Don`t hesitate to share your concerns with person you believe most.

Resources:

1. Video: Prevention of suicide among adolescents

2. Handouts on depression: What you should know about depression ?

3. E-Book by WHO: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders Global Health Estimates

4. These short videos have been produced as part of WHO’s “Depression: let’s talk” campaign. They highlight the importance of talking as the first step towards getting help.

5. WHO is leading global campaign on Depression since World Health Day celebrated on 7th April, 2017.

To know more: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/videos/en/

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How to face BETTER DEATH !!??

The Economist (29th April, 2017) did an insightful cover story on ways to meaningfully approach death.

Dying_Line

“Most people feed dread when they contemplate their mortality. As death has been hidden away in hospitals and nursing homes, it has become less familiar and harder t0 talk about. Honest and Open conversations with the dying should be as much a part of modern medicine as prescribing drugs or fixing broken bones. A better death mean a better life, right until the end.”

TibetanBookDying

Related articles:

  1. How to have a better death:
  2. What people want at the end of life:
  3. A better way to care for dying:

Celebrating 25 April–DNA Day

25 April, DNA Day:

When biologists James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and others published papers on the structure of DNA in the science journal Nature 64 years ago, they could not have imagined their research would someday inspire inflatable double helix toys and dancing organic molecules.

See original report published in Santa Cruz Sentinel …

Understanding DNA Discovery in Context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHXoshC3r9U

Follow DNA Day @DNAday.

RAINBOW of HOPE on Mental HealthCare HORIZON?

Kaasav-Marathi-Movie-Poster

On the occasion of Kaasav (Turtle-Marathi movie released in 2016) getting prestigious Best Film award at National Films Awards 2017 declared recently, we try to throw light on different initiatives being taken to address the enormous challenge of mental illness/mental healthcare in our society and country. (–rahul mane, moderator of ICMC health blog.)

A) “We spend less than 1% of the public health budget on mental health although mental health problems constitute nearly 13% of the health burden. Recognizing this historic neglect, the Bill makes provision for universal access to a range of mental health-care services in the community, at the district level, through the public health system. The Bill also makes it compulsory for insurance companies to include mental illness cover in medical insurance policies.” —LINK to THE HINDU report, New Narrative around mental health by Soumitra Pathare (2nd April, 2017)

B) Mohan Agashe, legendary actor and also Psychiatrist–> Education in India doesn’t discuss depression and mental health. Cinema must step into the breach

Also see Mohan Agashe`s brief about Kaasav.

C) All you need to know about Mental HealthCare Bill, 2017 (The Hindu, 25th March 2017)

Excerpt: “A person with mental illness shall not be subjected to seclusion or solitary confinement. Physical restraint may only be used, if necessary.”

D) Mental Healthcare: New tactics, Strategic failure (by K.S. Jacob, published in EPW 2016):

Excerpts: “Stress and trauma can be acute (for example, bereavement), recurrent (example, domestic violence) or chronic (for example, poverty); physical disease and disability, interpersonal difficulties and other social determinants are associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
depression

E) Draft Mental Health Bill passed recently–>

The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013

F) A lot more needs to be done on Mental Care front: an article by Raghuraj Gagneja for FirstPost

Excerpts: “The medical healthcare experts have called out the bill on the lack of its practical approach, citing the acute shortage of doctors, especially psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychiatrist social workers.”

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“ALL is WELL” with new ‘National HEALTH policy 2017’ ???

Media gave wide coverage to recently declared road-map to National Health Policy. It must be said that amid mixed reactions and doubts, this initiative was welcomed in all policy quarters and think tank circles. Major highlight of this announcement has been to aim at increasing Health Expenditure up-to a level of 2.5% of GDP, “in a time bound manner”. Unfortunately opposition political parties were suspiciously silent or weak in responding in proper proportion to this important policy step to be engaged with urgent need to scrutinize the complex issues involved. However, media-we must say, didn’t leave any stones unturned to understand and deconstruct—what it means for all of us—implications of a proposed policy for the vast nation which is in immense urgency to address the health inequality & health inequity limiting our growth potential and development trajectory.

—rahul mane, Moderator of ICMC Health Blog

MINT_NHP17

Source: CSRS 2014, NHP 2017 & Word Bank

Snippets from coverage:

Finally sharing a cartoon from United States arguably/speculatively most developed country still on earth. This sums up situation about Health Care in USA as: ‘miles to go before they sleep’ . So, imagine challenges in front of us are infinitely bigger than those of western countries. If anybody wants to write a response or thought piece in response to health policy debate of India happening in 2017, please write to us @ (rahulmane@micamail.in).  TAKE CARE. BYE.

Health Care for All.

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HEART-CARE—> Let`s go against Commercial BRAZENNESS

Blaming doctors for hyping up diagnosis and surgical operations leading towards unjustifiable expenses in heart-related issues is becoming normal in these days where prevalence of cardiac emergencies are increasing in our society. On the other side, we observe that doctors also have been not vocal about entrenched vicious loop in which they enable suffering of patients. This happens because ignorance and lack of knowledge about advanced tools and procedures involved in heart-related diagnosis, treatment and operations. There are serious issues of ‘Conflict of Interest’ and ‘breach of ethical duty’ involved aiming to save heart patients not only from biological problems but also ensuring that they are not financially made vulnerable for the treatment which actually can be made available at lesser cost.

—–(Rahul Mane, moderator of ICMC Health Blog)

 

Image result for heart disease cartoon

A recent policy decision by The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of Govt. of India to limit the pricing of coronary stents has is a huge step in the direction of ensuring life-saving tools available to a wider public who normally can`t afford even the simplest of the procedures involved in heart-related diseases. See the reports and related information as per following:

a) Govt caps prices of coronary stents in huge relief to heart patients (LiveMint, 14th Feb. 2017)

b) Physician, Heal thyself (Amar Jesani, Editor, IJME) (appeared in The Indian Express on 7th March 2017)

c) A brief information about Stent by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (USA)

i) What is a stent?

ii) How are stents used?

iii) How Are Stents Placed?

iv) What To Expect Before a Stent Procedure?

Image result for angioplasty

Graphics: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Appendix:

1. Toll-free HELPLINE: Coronary Stents Price Control: For Any information and complaints regarding overcharging, please contact:Pharma Jan Samadhan at http://www.nppaindia.in Toll Free Number 1800111255

2. Contact address for correspondence:

The Pharma Jan Samadhan (PJS), Member Secretary,
NPPA, 3rd Floor, YMCA Cultural Centre Building,
1, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi – 110 001.
Tel : 011 – 23746649; Fax : 011 – 23746652
Email : msecy.nppa[at]nic[dot]in
Landline HelpLine no. : 011 – 23746647

3. Online Complaint Page: http://nppaindia.nic.in/cms/complainmain.aspx

4. 3D Medical Animation of Coronary Stent Procedure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-zCBKRg7Cs

5. What is ANGIOPLASTY and STENTING? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9AqBd4RExk

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Uncertain Twilight: CARING elderly…

lifehacker

lifehacker.com

The Hindu with its senior correspondent Narayan Lakshman, carried out a series of three articles discussing in detail–upcoming challenges ahead of elderly population in India. While a great length of the series went on to understand and to explain the changing nature of society and lifestyle we will be exposed in next few years, some of the other crucial issues discussed were also equally urgent to address by governments, NGOs & civil society like ….

a) spending on medicine,

b) availability of customized homes for elderly,

c) Role of police with reference to Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior  Citizens Act,

d) patterns of old age dependency,

e) declining asset of demographic dividend,

f) gender issues in elderly care & g) availibility of amenities for senior citizens.

For details, please refer to:

a) Blending humaneness with healthcare solutions: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/blending-humaneness-with-healthcare-solutions/article17335942.ece

b) Home is where the care is: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/home-is-where-the-care-is/article17330534.ece

c) Challenge of ageing with dignity: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/challenge-of-ageing-with-dignity/article17326492.ece

We also take this opportunity to share information regarding Jan Aushadhi Scheme run by Bureau of Pharma PSU of India aimed at “…ensuring availability of quality medicines at affordable prices to all…” as declared by Department of Pharmaceuticals under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (http://janaushadhi.gov.in/about_jan_aushadhi.html).This scheme can be a major support if different organizations, hospitals, NGOs make benefit of this considering huge challenges of CARE of elderly population in India–optimal cost of medicines being one important issue to address in that direction. Further information regarding ways to avail benefits of this scheme:

a) Price list of important life-saving medicines: http://janaushadhi.gov.in/price_list_of_JAS_medicines.html

b) Guidelines for Opening of Jan Aushadhi Store for different category: http://janaushadhi.gov.in/Guidelines.html

c) Complete brochure of Jan Aushadhi schemejanaushadhi.gov.in/data/PMJAY%20Brochure_lr.pdf

pledge-help-care-support-elderly

 

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