Hyderabad, Aug 13 (IANS) At a time when India, like the rest of the world, is in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing into focus the huge inadequacies in the already fragile healthcare system in the country, revival of the family doctor system is one idea which can go a long way in improving healthcare delivery, feels eminent physician P. Raghu Ram.The leading breast cancer surgeon is of the view that revival of family doctor/general practitioner (GP) system and making them the first point of contact for the patients for any sickness or for preventive visit will ensure that expensive hospital resources are used on those who need them the most. "The once upon a time ubiquitous family doctor/GP concept has almost become extinct in the country. Most 'worried well' who are asymptomatic, and equally, those with minor common ailments rush to the hospitals, which are already overwhelmed with sick patients," the Padma Shri awardee doctor told IANS. He cited the 2020 report of the Medical Council of India, which says that around 44,000 postgraduate seats are available for 55,000 doctors who graduate every year. "In other words, the vast majority will become specialists. It is indeed an irony that the new MBBS curriculum does not even include a mention about the family doctor/GP concept in its voluminous 890-page document. There are not many applicants for the 'Family Medicine' DNB postgraduate courses conducted by the National Board of Examinations because the number of centres accredited to train doctors wishing to pursue a career as a family physician are few and far between," said Raghu Ram, Director, KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases, Hyderabad. The doctor, who recently received the Order of British Empire (OBE), pointed out that the concept of visiting the family doctor/GP before a patient sees a specialist is the standard practice in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). "The GP is the principal treating doctor who manages most minor issues sensibly based upon evidence and refers patients to specialist centres only when needed. An effective primary care sorts the serious from the non-serious by speedy and accurate diagnosis, directs hospital referrals to the most appropriate speciality and ensures that expensive hospital resources are expended on those who will benefit the most," he said. Stating that the ongoing Covid pandemic has brought to sharp focus the huge inadequacies in India's already fragile healthcare system, he said that India must invest in training GPs in addition to popularising and sensitising young impressionable students who have joined MBBS courses about the family medicine concept."Furthermore, primary healthcare infrastructure in rural India (where more than 70 per cent of our population resides) must be strengthened so that more patients are served locally by GPs, thus obviating the arduous and time consuming task of travelling long distances for assessment/treatment," he said. "GPs must be 'gatekeepers' of our healthcare system. They should be the first point of contact for patients for any sickness or preventive visit. The UK's NHS model of providing universal primary healthcare through public-private partnership (PPP) may be appropriate for adaptation in the Indian context. Most healthcare in India is provided by the private sector and there is a robust potential for private sector involvement in improving primary healthcare delivery in the country," he added. Raghu Ram wants to see the Government of India initiate concrete and implementable measures to ensure that the family doctor concept is revived. "It is time to make primary healthcare in the country more innovative, inclusive, collaborative and sustainable. An important component of the Hippocratic Oath is to 'keep the good of the patient as the highest priority' and this landmark step would pave the path in this direction by ensuring well controlled uniform effective healthcare to the citizenry," said Raghu Ram. Among the foremost surgeons in the Asia Pacific region, Raghu Ram established South Asia's first comprehensive Breast Health Centre and founded a charitable foundation to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer nationwide. Immediate past president of the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and all four surgical Royal Colleges in the British Isles - Edinburgh, England, Glasgow & Ireland.He was conferred the Honorary FRCS by the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand (2019), Honorary Fellowship of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka (2020), and is the only surgeon of Indian origin in over 100 years to be conferred the Fellowship of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (2021). --IANS ms/arm
Hyderabad, Aug 10 (IANS) Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, R.S. Praveen Kumar on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19.Praveen Kumar was briefly admitted to the government-run Gandhi Hospital. He was later discharged from the hospital and is now undergoing treatment at home.Kumar, who joined the BSP at a public meeting in Nalgonda on August 8, is suffering from mild symptoms of Covid-19. However, doctors said his condition is stable."I have mild Covid-19 symptoms. Nothing to worry at all," the BSP leader tweeted. He appealed to all people who came in contact with him recently to isolate themselves.Kumar addressed a well-attended public meeting at Nalgonda and joined the BSP in the presence of the party's National Coordinator Ramji Gautam.Ramji Gautam announced Kumar's appointment as the Telangana BSP State Coordinator.The 1995 IPS batch officer on July 19 announced voluntary retirement from service.Kumar has served as the Secretary of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) and the Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS) for the last seven years.--IANSms/khz/bg
Hyderabad, July 21 (IANS) P. Raghu Ram, a city-based doctor and founder director of KIMS - Ushalakhsmi Centre for Breast Diseases, attained the rare distinction of being the first Indian to be conferred with the honorary fellowship of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI).
ASGBI represents the surgical fraternity in the UK and Ireland.
Neil Welch, president of the surgical body bestowed the honour on Raghu Ram during the centenary annual general body meeting which was held on Tuesday virtually.
"Raghu Ram is the first surgeon of Indian origin to have this honour conferred on him in the 100 years of history of ASGBI and we are delighted to welcome him as an honorary fellow of ASGBI," said Welch.
Honorary fellowship is the highest honour and recognition conferred by ASGBI to select surgeons from the world over who have made significant contributions to the realm of surgery and surgical care.
The prestigious award is limited by statute and the number of honorary fellows cannot exceed 60 according to ASGBI constitution.
"This is a great honour to India and I dedicate this prestigious award to the Indian surgical fraternity world over for their outstanding contribution towards promoting the art and science of surgery," said Ram on receiving the honour.
He also thanked his patients who gave him an opportunity to be involved in their care.
"Over the past 14 years, I have strived to replicate and exemplify the best of British practices and served as a "Living Bridge" between the UK and India in an earnest endeavour to improve the delivery of breast healthcare in my motherland. My profound gratitude to everyone who made this journey possible," he said.
ASGBI was established 100 years ago, which represents surgeons from all specialties practicing in the UK and Ireland.
Ram also received Padma Shri, BC Roy and OBE recognitions among others.
New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will examine the limit of constitutional courts when venturing into matters that fall under the purview of the executive in connection with the Covid-19 management.A bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari said: "We may have 110 suggestions, but will it become an order. We have to remember; we are a constitutional court".The bench added, "How far can a constitutional court go, when public health emergencies like Covid-19 occurs?" The top court made this observation disagreeing with the Allahabad High Court directions to the Uttar Pradesh government on providing a specific number of ambulances and other amenities, connected with Covid-19 management, across the state.Justice Saran queried, whether it would at all be needed for the high court to tread on this arena? The bench emphasized that the objective should be fairness to everybody so that sufferance is minimum, but courts have to respect the demarcation. The bench observed, "How far was Ram Bharose comment justified?"The bench said it does not want to comment on requirement of ambulances and oxygen in the state. The bench added: "It's not that you cannot give suggestions but how can you ask local companies to take vaccine formula and manufacture it? How can such directions be given?"Justice Maheshwari said these questions are for the executive and amid crisis, everybody has to proceed cautiously.Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, amicus curiae in the matter, submitted there are other views on this issue also. He added there are other courts which interfere in these matters as well, more so when executive fails in discharging its obligations.Interestingly, a bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the ongoing Covid pandemic. The top court said citizens of India are completely perplexed, as they do not know what is going on. Earlier, a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had passed a slew of directions in connection with Centre's vaccine policy as well as oxygen management by Centre and states. Later, Centre revised its vaccine policy.Gupta urged the court to ensure whatever UP government proposes to do, should be done before the third wave. The bench said it will take up the matter on August 12.On May 21, the top court had stayed the directions issued by Allahabad High Court, on May 17, in connection with Covid-19 management in Uttar Pradesh, stressing that the high courts should not pass orders "that are impossible to implement".While passing its directions, the Allahabad High Court had observed the entire medical system of the state, especially in smaller cities and villages, can only be called "At Ram Bharose" (at the mercy of God).--IANSss/in
Patna, July 12 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar found himself in an uncomfortable situation for a few minutes after a youth sitting in front of him claimed that he was suffering from black fungus.The youth had come to Day 1 of the Janata Darbar of Nitish Kumar. It began on Monday after a long gap of 5 years.The Bihar CM was sitting on one side of the table and the youth was sitting on the other side. While Kumar was looking at the application of that youth and asked him about the problem he was facing, he said that he is suffering from black fungus.As soon as he said black fungus, Kumar became uncomfortable. One of the officials standing alongside the chief minister asked who is suffering from black fungus in your family, and the youth said that he is having black fungus.Following the incident, Nitish Kumar called the health secretary and directed him to make arrangements for the proper treatment of the youth.On Day 1 of Nitish Kumar's Janata Darbar, over 100 complainants reached his residence in Patna on Monday.--IANS ajk/bg
Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) Bollywood veteran Dilip Kumar's health is improving. The 98-year-old is currently recuperating in hospital.The actor's wife, actress Saira Banu Khan, issued a statement late on Monday updating about his health.The statement issued on Dilip Kumar's Twitter account, reads: "We are grateful for God's infinite mercy on Dilip Sahib that his health is improving. We are still in hospital and request your prayers and duas so that Insha'Allah he is healthy and discharged soon. Saira Banu Khan."Dilip Kumar was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Hinduja Hospital, Khar, on June 29, after reportedly complaining of breathlessness.A statement was issued on his behalf on Twitter the following day. It read: "Dilip Saab has been admitted to Hinduja Hospital, Khar to address medical issues related to illness which are frequently expected in a 98 year old. Your love and prayers are truly appreciated by Saab."--IANSabh/vnc