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
New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Boosting the nation's Covid-19 vaccination drive, Reliance Foundation has crossed a milestone over 10 lakh vaccine doses administered across India.The initiative, Mission Vaccine Suraksha, launched in April by Reliance Foundation is a mark of commitment to protect the larger community of employees, associates, partners and the general population with free vaccinations. Mass vaccination is the topmost priority for India and a way to fight the current crisis. Following government announcements and protocol, Reliance Foundation embarked upon one of the largest free-of-cost corporate vaccination programs to prioritize vaccination for 100 per cent of employees and their family members. In the Annual General Meeting last month, Nita M. Ambani, Chairperson Reliance Foundation had expressed the commitment to vaccinate the general community. "Executing this Mission on a nationwide basis is a humungous task. But it is our dharma, our duty to every Indian, our promise of safety and protection. Our firm belief that together, we can, and we will overcome," she said. Till date, over 98 per cent of all eligible employees have already been covered with at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine in keeping with this promise. As part of Mission Vaccine Suraksha, over 10 lakh doses have been administered already, to employees and family members across Reliance. Over 171 vaccination centres across the country are vaccinating employees, associates, joint venture partners and all their family members including off-roll workforce, retired employees and eight family members of each of these groups. Now, vaccination for community has been rolled out to administer an additional 10 lakh doses to communities near plant locations and to the general population through NGOs. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Reliance Foundation has stayed committed to its social responsibility of safeguarding internal as well as external communities. Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital has played a critical role in ensuring continued operations of each of the vaccination centres as per Government medical protocols. Vaccination processes have been digitized and are seamless with the JioHealthHub Digital Health Platform from slot booking to downloading of vaccine certificate. The Mission was rolled out after private organisations were given permissions to purchase vaccines for employees. This rapid and extensive vaccination plan not only helps keep staff and families safer, it will also substantially reduce pressure on public health systems to support India in countering pandemic challenges more effectively. Reliance Foundation has been supporting COVID-19 prevention through multiple CSR initiatives. These include: Medical oxygen production free to meet the needs of one lakh patients daily basis Over 2000+ COVID-care beds and facilities supported across the country Providing over 7.5 crore meals to vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic Distributing over one crore masks and safety messages to frontline workers, daily wage earners, transport workers and other groups Reliance has contributed a significant 4 per cent of the country's total CSR spend during 2019-20. This has been systematically enhanced now to help the country face renewed challenges of COVID-19 and the Vaccination Mission is yet another affirmation of the Reliance commitment 'We Care'. --IANS san/dpb
Thiruvananthapuram, July 24 (IANS) The country's largest family health centre was opened at Vazhakkad in Malappuram here on Saturday by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan online.Fully funded by Shamsheer Vayalil, an NRI entrepreneur from Kerala and also the CMD of VPS Healthcare, a leading healthcare service provider in GCC nations and India, the 15,000 sq. ft. family health centre, has been reconstructed at a cost of Rs 10 crore. It has an open gym and a play area for children, and is disabled-friendly.The original primary health centre was destroyed in the 2018 floods.Vijayan said it is the vision of his government to strengthen public health centres."Developing and upgrading primary and family health centres is our priority," said Vijayan.The family health centre, which is expected to cater to the medical needs of around 75,000 outpatients annually, was reconstructed as part of the CSR initiative of UAE-based VPS Healthcare.Vayalil said healthcare across the globe has been undergoing tremendous changes, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic."We are thankful to all. It has been a collective effort, and this will not have been a success without the backing of the local population. We dedicate the family health centre to all with great pride," said Vayalil, who is the son-in-law of business tycoon M.A. Yusuf Ali.Ali, who was the chief guest of the function, said it is heartening to see that the Vazhakkad family health centre has now been upgraded to a modern health infrastructure with the capacity to address the growing needs of the public.--IANSsg/bg
<br>The 21 members of his joint family comprising four generations, however, overcame the ordeal with love, care and timely medical intervention.Hailing from Mandavgan Farata village in Shirur taluka, 100 km from Pune city, Ashok tested positive on April 21. As the remaining members of his family include four people aged over 65, the village panchayat decided to conduct a Covid test on all of them. Following Ashok, 20 members of the family tested positive, with just three spared from the infection. The youngest patient included a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and the oldest, a 75-year-old man. Ashok, who is a member of the gram panchayat of Mandavgan Farata, said his family is big as his father, his uncle and their families all live together. The 24 members include eight women, seven men, and nine children.As a melon-farmer, he was the only member of the family who used to step out of the house during the pandemic in order to sell the family's farm produce. He said he would quarantine himself in a separate room to keep the rest of the family safe from the infection.The 53-year-old used to visit the market yard in Pune and came in contact with adatdars (brokers), other farmers, vendors, as well as customers. "During the week (before I was tested), I had fever and body pain, but I ignored it as I thought it may be because of exhaustion. "When the pain increased, I visited a family doctor, who suggested a Covid test. On April 21, my report came positive. As I was serious, my doctor suggested I get admitted to a private hospital," he said.Ashok's diagnosis left the entire family worried. That is when the gram panchayat decided to test everyone. Of the 20 other family members who tested positive, 15 had mild symptoms and five were admitted to the Covid-19 centre in Mandavgan Farata.Ashok, on coming to know that nearly all of his family had been infected, was overwhelmed with guilt. "I felt I would be the only one responsible if any of them succumbed to the virus. I could not have forgiven myself if anything had happened to them," he said.All the household and family responsibilities then fell on the three who were not infected -- Pooja Suraj Jagtap, Adika Santosh Jagtap and Akash Bapusaheb Jagtap. Pooja and Adika were busy in the kitchen most of the time, cooking immunity-boosting food for the patients. Akash would deliver the food to the Covid centre and hospital.When he would get time, Akash would go to the fields, but he could not finish many of the tasks as the farmworkers hired by the family refused to come to work out of fear of catching the virus.Ashok's son, Suraj Subhash Jagtap, 27, said that his wife, Pooja, and brother's wife, Adika, looked after the whole family. "My one-year-old son Aditya lived with us, and without his mom, for more than 10 days. We were all scared at first, as negative news was pouring in from outside. But our grandfather and grandmother motivated us, they never showed any kind of anxiety. All the time, they would talk to us and tell us that nothing would happen. Their positive words inspired all of us," he said.Kantabai Rohidas Jagtap, 70, Ashok's mother, said they were scared, but did not show it. "Everyone started to take care of each other. Daughters, sons-in-law, nephews, and other relatives also helped us. With the love and support of each other and our relatives, we got through the hard times. I have seen humanity in this critical situation. Now, senior members of the family will take the vaccine and others will too," she adds.Ashok's uncle, Subhash Mahadev Jagtap, 70, said the family's farm suffered losses as workers stayed away from their farm and Akash could not harvest the melons or water the crops alone. "It is a big loss to the family, but at least all of us are together," he said.Manoj Bhosale, a doctor at the Varad Vinayak Hospital, Mandavgan Farata, said it is important for patients to stay optimistic. "A doctor tries to save every patient, but patients should also believe in themselves. This is the thing I saw in the Jagtap family. "As a farming family, they had strong immunity. But also, no one in the family panicked in this critical situation. They took care of each other. This is when I saw the benefit of a joint family. Their love for each other makes them strong. Now I always give the example of the Jagtap family to every patient," he said.Looking at the prediction of a third wave in India, Ashok said the virus is bound to infect everyone eventually. "The key is not to delay treatment, be optimistic and love each other. Also, get vaccinated. We are getting the jab too."(The author is a Pune-based freelance journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.)--IANS<br>dhumal/in
New York, June 20 (IANS) While suicide rates are generally higher in men than in women, but those who indulge in family care work are less vulnerable to take their lives, according to a new study.
The study, led by Colorado State University researchers, found that that men's suicide mortality is related to their private-life behaviours, specifically their low engagement in family care work -- not just the adversities they may encounter in aspects of their public lives, such as employment.
Men tend to overinvest in the role of an economic-provider, and underinvest in family care work -- a pattern that leaves them vulnerable when economic-provider work is threatened or lost, according to Silvia Sara Canetto Canetto, Professor of Psychology at the varsity.
In the study, family caregiving was defined as, for example, providing personal care or education for a child, and/or providing care for a dependent adult.
The researchers examined suicide, male family caregiving, and unemployment in 20 countries, including the US, Austria, Belgium, Canada and Japan.
Suicide rates were found to be lower in countries where men reported more family care work, showed the study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.
In countries where men reported more such care work, higher unemployment rates were not associated with higher suicide rates in men. By contrast, in countries where men reported less family care work, higher unemployment rates were associated with elevated male suicide rates. Incidentally, unemployment benefits did not reduce male suicide rates.
Taken together, the findings suggest that men's family care work may protect them against suicide, particularly under difficult economic circumstances, Canetto said.
Men's greater involvement in family care work would also relieve women of their disproportionate caregiving load, and give children more resources.
The findings suggest incorporating support for engagement in family care work in programmes aimed at reducing men's suicide mortality.
"This means expanding beyond dominant frameworks of men's suicide prevention with their employment-support focus," Canetto explained. "It also means going beyond treating suicide as just a mental health problem to be solved with mental health 'treatments.'"
New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) India's Covid cases continued to witness decline as it recorded 70,421 new Covid cases, lowest since March 31 and 3,921 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Monday.
This is the seventh consecutive day when India has reported less than one lakh Covid cases.
On June 13, India recorded 80,834 cases.
India's overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,95,10,410. The active cases have come down below 10 lakh. The country has 9,73,158 active cases presently and has witnessed 3,74,305 deaths so far.
According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,19,501 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,81,62,947 till date.
The Health Ministry said that a total of 25,48,49,301 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 14,99,771 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 37,96,24,626 samples have been tested up to June 13 for Covid-19. Of these 14,92,152 samples were tested on Sunday.