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Archives for : March2018

Chhattisgarh- 11 lose vision in one eye after botched up cataract surgery #WTFnews


A Chhattisgarh government official said all the affected patients are being shifted to hospitals in Raipur for better treatment and an investigation has been initiated.


At least 11 people lost vision in one eye after they underwent cataract operations at a private hospital here in Chhattisgarh, doctors said on Thursday.

Cataract surgeries of at least 96 patients, mostly from rural pockets of Rajnandgaon, Durg and Balod districts, were performed on February 22, 23 and 24 at Christian fellowship hospital here, Dr Thomas Abraham, director of community-based eye services at the hospital, told PTI.

Of them, 32 later complained of infections and 11 of them lost vision in the operated eye, he said.

A Chhattisgarh government official said all the affected patients are being shifted to hospitals in Raipur for better treatment and an investigation has been initiated.

On February 23, a total of 45 operations were performed by two surgeons in two sessions. Post-operation, the patients were examined by two senior surgeons and no evidence of any infection was found, Dr Abraham said.

On February 26, two patients, operated on February 23, reported to the hospital complaining of infection in their eyes, he said, adding the duo had early signs of infection.

Subsequently, a total of 32 patients, who were operated on February 23, complained of problems in their eyes, Dr Abraham said.

Later, they were sent for retina surgery vitrectomy to Raipur. However, of them, 11 people have lost vision in eye which was operated upon, he said.

Eye surgeries performed on 22 patients on February 22 and another 29 on February 24 in the same operation theatre of the hospital by the same surgeon had no signs of infection, Dr Abraham said, adding samples of medicines used in the operations have been sent for examination.

On getting information about the incident, state director of health services Ranu Sahu said chief medical and health officer Mithlesh Chaudhary and other doctors were sent to the hospital for examining the affected patients.

“We have received information that 11 people have developed severe infection in their eyes. Officials have been directed to shift them to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar memorial hospital and MGM eye hospital in Raipur for better medication,” Sahu said.

An investigation into the incident is underway, she said.


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Aaghaz-e-Dosti appeals for peace over escalation in ceasefire violations

The youth led voluntary initiative for Indo-Pak Friendship, Aaghaz-e-Dosti (li. Beginning of friendship) expresses concern over increased incidents of ceasefire violations between the two countries across Line of Control.

‘’We believe that governments of the two countries are capable enough to engage in dialogue with each other and should do their best efforts to reduce these incidents of violations and cross border firings till the extent that it should not happen at all. Such cross border firings often result as fatal to soldiers and civilians on both sides and both countries must understand the pain and suffering of these soldiers and civilians who are human being. ‘’

For countries like India and Pakistan where there is glorification of war and where common people love their country and its soldiers beyond all limits, such ceasefire violations are more dangerous. However, it is the responsibility of respective governments that without compromising to any glory or honor; dialogues, negotiations and diplomatic steps should be taken to avoid any loss to lives of soldiers on both sides.

Another constituency of affected people is of those who live in border areas. There are media reports available that even children have been died as they got trapped in these firings. Many houses have been made damaged on both sides despite a considerable number of population live on both sides of line.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti highly appreciate governments’ initiative during 2003 when ceasefire violations were brought down through a mutually agreed agreement between the two governments and their armies and we are highly hopeful that the same should be done by the present governments on both sides. Aaghaz-e-Dosti express its hope with the leadership of both sides in Governments, Diplomatic Missions and Armed forces who can definitely bring down these violations through initiating and establishing dialogue process. Meetings of two NSAs also bring some hope to us for its positive results are yet to come on ground and most required on border where lives of innocent people are on stake.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti also appeals with Governments of India and Pakistan to resume meeting of DGMOs of both sides and to remove heavy casualty arms and ammunition from front lines from both sides as its immediate availability and use would only result in more casualties. Being a most volatile start in 2018, escalated incidents of ceasefire violations must be brought down with efforts of governments and people.

We at Aaghaz-e-Dosti believe that our efforts in fostering people to people relations would continue. We are the youth group who believe in ideology of peace and love. On one side, we are deeply distressed upon the disappearance of our member Raza Khan in Pakistan, however our hope still remains with the Government of Pakistan as we feel that Government would do its best efforts to protect peace workers. However, our commitment to peace is undeterred and without any fear and we feel that being voice of youths, who are in majority in both countries, our voice will be heard by leaders on both sides and effective steps will be taken in welfare of humanity and with the vision of long lasting relations of two countries. Doing this would save much lives from both sides and will be a real service to people.

Issued by

Aaghaz-e-Dosti Team  

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 Concerns regarding the transfer of the Chairman,National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)


We are deeply concerned about the manner and timing of the transfer of Mr. Bhupendra Singh, Chairman NPPA, a move which seriously impacts public interest particularly when measures are being taken to plug unethical profiteering.

The NPPA under the governance of Mr. Injeti Srinivas and Mr. Singh showed tremendous leadership. Mr. Srinivas was transferred even before the completion of one year following the price regulation of critical cardiac and diabetes medicines through public interest of the DPCO. During his term, Mr. Singh has taken many positive steps to ensure affordability of medicines and medical devices that discomforted the industry.

Notably, the NPPA undertook landmark price control of stents and knee implants. There was greater accountability to the public because of increased transparency and responsiveness to grievances of patients and the industry.

Enforcement was also significantly strengthened with the recovery of hundreds of crores due to overcharging by the industry. The NPPA also saw unprecedented success in the courts with its stands vindicated by favourable judgments passed by the Supreme Court and High Courts in most cases.

Finally, the NPPA took a proactive role in initiating monitoring of high margins charged by private hospitals in an effort to curb unethical profiteering.

We fear that Mr. Singh’s transfer in total disregard to the public interest is due to the pressure from the industry and corporate hospital lobby.
The pharmaceutical industry has long sought to undermine and weaken the NPPA in order to enable uninhibited profiteering and circumvention of the law. The recent price revise of coronary stents angered the US-based MNCs which ran a malicious campaign against the regulatory authority.

The final precipitating factor, we believe, was the report analyzing bills of four patients and which exposed the gross overcharging and misconduct of private hospitals. In this same report, the NPPA appealed for policy intervention to correct the injustice towards patients as it had reached the limits of its mandate.

By transferring out the Chairman, the institutions positive outlook towards consumers will be blocked and messages uncertainty for continuation of critical interventions to make medicines more affordable to the common man and to stem systematic looting in the healthcare industry. Not appointing a replacement will render the NPPA nonfunctional at a critical juncture when patients interest must be served.

The Government has the authority to transfer officers but that authority should be exercised in good faith. The manner of transfer creates a chilling effect on the functioning of NPPA. Further, it conveys a message of insecurity to the new incumbent which could prevent the new Chairperson from acting decisively.

Therefore, we ask that:
the Government reconsider its decision and allow Mr. Singh to complete his three year term in the NPPA, and;

the NPPA be made into a statutory body along with fixed term periods for the Chairman and leadership to ensure the independence and integrity of the regulator

NPPA Chairperson Transferred Soon After Expose on Pvt Hospitals

Chairperson of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Bhupendra Singh, under whom the NPPA had exposed how private sector hospitals were making undue high profits, has been transferred, giving rise to some serious questions.

Singh has been appointed to hold the post of Chairman of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention. The NPPA is the authority which oversees the regulation of drug prices and is expected to ensure their availability.

According to Scroll, Singh had led the organisation into releasing a report on 20 February that referred to huge profits made by private hospitals by inflating bills for medicines as well as those for syringes, gloves and other medical tools.

The report, says Scroll, found that the margins of profit on some items were as high as 1,700 percent.

According to IndiaSpend, the NPPA had found that the total expenditure on drugs, devices and diagnostics (46 percent) was substantially higher than procedures and room rent (11 percent), which were more visible components, even though they weren’t a part of the publicised package.

The report adds that patients often complained that final bills were three times the initial estimate.

Also Read: Private Hospitals’ Con Job? A Better Room Means Costlier Treatment

The NPPA, under Singh, had thus called for several policy interventions which would curb these unlawful profits, something that probably didn’t win him the confidence of several persons in the private health sector and the government, reports Scroll.

Also Read: Rs 15L Bill for 15 Days of Dengue: Fortis at Fault, or Healthcare?

According to Economic Times, the NPPA under Singh had also slashed the prices of cardiac stents by over 80 percent in 2017, in a bid to improve a heart patient’s access to the device.

Along with this, the report adds, the NPPA had also fixed maximum prices and trade margins of knee implants in “public interest”, which led to a 69 percent drop in their retail prices.

Considering the NPPA’s exposé of the corruption abound in the private health sector under Singh and the latter’s actions in trying to curb the same, the reason behind his sudden transfer has made several professionals in the field suspicious.

Speaking to The Quint, Rajiv Nath, coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED), voiced his doubts regarding the motive behind Singh’s transfer.

One thing is for sure, this action of sudden transfer is indicative of power of lobbies that opposed Bhupendra Singh’s initiatives – US MNCs win this round by using the US Government to lobby with the PMO. And the loser is the consumer and Indian med tech manufacturers.

Rajiv Nath to The Quint

“Change is inevitable but should not be disruptive. Let’s hope the excellent initiatives taken by Bhupendra Singh are carried forward by next incumbent,” he added.

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