Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
8 Ways to make India healthy and wealthy
Each politician worth his salt wants more medical schools and larger hospitals in India. Instead of the quick fix idea of more hospitals, doctors and specialists, here are the eight steps that would make India healthy and wealthy 
 
Pharmaceutical drugs are no panacea for human suffering either. A close look at the peer reviewed leading medical journals show that American medicine, which we in India follow in Toto frequently causes more harm than good! In hospital adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in the US affect 2.2 million patients. Antibiotics are the next menace for the environment both for humans and all other creatures as shown in previous article (Read: Drug pollution as an environmental disaster?). Dr Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995, said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. Dr Besser, in 2003, now refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million. The total number of iatrogenic deaths is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. The 2001 heart disease annual death rate is 699,697, the annual cancer death rate, 553,251.
 
A report from the Centre for Health Programme Evaluation in Australia tells a similar story. This study looked specifically at the doctor patient ratio.  “There is now documented evidence that adverse events associated with medical interventions have a seriously deleterious effect on population health. However, this literature does not indicate whether or not the net effect of an increase in the doctor supply is positive or negative. There are, additionally, other mechanisms by which an increase in the doctor supply could reduce the quality and length of life. This paper revisits two hypotheses concerning doctor induced poor health. Econometric results using Australian cross-sectional data are presented. They are consistent with the hypothesis that an increase in the doctor supply is associated with an increase in mortality.” 
 
The authors give the following explanations for this mess. “That increasing the doctor supply may cause the population to become increasingly dependent on medical services to maintain their health. People neglect lifestyle factors. Put another way, responsibility shifts from the individual to the doctor.”
 
More doctors and less health is a proven fact in fourteen other industrialised countries, from Japan to US, audited in 2000 AD. Please take these findings seriously, before we start the same killing spree as our politicians want more medical schools and larger hospitals in India. Each politician worth his salt wants a medical college. Every Chief Minister wants an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) like hospital in every state capital. The truth would be that it will be better for the country and its populace even if the existing AIIMS is closed and the money thus saved is being used to upgrade the hard working tired horses like the Safdarjung-like Hospitals in the capital. The only inconvenience might be for our politicians and top bureaucrats in Delhi! They claim that AIIMS does research. May I ask as to which area of medicine’s wisdom has advanced by the research done in AIIMS since its inception? “Knowledge advances NOT by repeating known facts, but by REFUTING false dogmas in any field,” wrote Karl Popper. 
 
Audit on medical research, published in the best journals in the world, has revealed that nearly 90% of the research funded by the industry could not be replicated independently! This figure jumps to 95% in cancer research, most of which is plain fraud. David Eddy of Stanford showed that only 15% of what doctors do is based on sound science and 85% on wrong research.  
 
Instead of the quick fix idea of more hospitals, doctors and specialists, here is what we need to do urgently for our healthcare. This would make India healthy and wealthy.
  1. Clean drinking water, sanitation of the best variety, three meals a day for everyone uncontaminated by animal and/or human excreta 
  2. A roof on top in place of the star-lit sky 
  3. Schooling for all kids and specially girl kids 
  4. Delayed marriage for girls for lowering the fertility rates 
  5. Better nutrition for pregnant mothers, especially in the first trimester to reduce still births and to beget healthy offsprings
  6. Better sanitation for decreasing perinatal mortality 
  7. Encouraging normal home birthing by strengthening the specially trained midwife services in far flung villages 
  8. Avoidance of cooking gas laden with carbon monoxide from coming into the house, using smokeless choolas, and introducing healthy habits in schools through Yoga and meditation 
 
“It is easier to argue that something nobody believes in actually exists than it is to argue that something everybody believes in is unreal.” - Samuel R Delany
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London.)  

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COMMENTS

Amol Chavan

2 years ago

I agree. The yoga (pranayam included) is very necessary to be taught to our school children's as it will inject the discipline to do it on regular basis life time and reap the benefit life long. All minor and mostly major illness will not even touch our population if the ancient tradition yoga is practiced daily. I suggest a few pranayam + yogasana + walk/jog will do the trick for us and save us billion in long run.

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Let this article be read and implemented by as many common man, doctors, politicians, NGOs , funds allotters and spenders etc. Each word is priceless in this article and the maximum it is implemented and a fast as possible, we Indians will INDEED NOT ONLY BE HEALTHY BUT ALSO WEALTHY.

IndiGo Air making fast progress with $2.6 billion funding from China
IndiGo Air, after signing an MoU with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China-ICBC for $2.6 billion funding, has inked an agreement for 250 Airbus NEO aircrafts
 
It is almost a month since the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India, to a warm personal welcome by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when the much anticipated Chinese plans to invest $100 billion came down to a marginal $20 billion over the next five years. But the actual progress in this matter has been slow as a result of which the Indian Embassy, it is reported in the press, are following up the issues with various Chinese authorities.
 
Simultaneous, it appears that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) have also found that some of the experiences have Chinese firms like Huawei and Longnjan Road have not been found to be satisfactory.  DIPP is now co-ordinating with various industries and associations to identify the obstacles the Chinese firms have faced so as to correct the situation.
 
It may be recalled that President Xi Jinping had shown interest in setting up industrial parks in both Maharashtra and Gujarat besides offering to assist India in high speed trains and related   infrastructure activities. They had promised to open up other sectors like meat imports so as to reduce the trade deficit, which is over $36 billion.
 
The major event that took place relates to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by IndiGo Air with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for $2.6 billion to finance the purchase of some 30 aircraft. Under the terms of MoU signed, ICBC will provide "financing for the planes through either a sale and leaseback financial or commercial lending".  Full details of this MOU have not been made public, yet.
 
According to reports, IndiGo has singed a MoU with Airbus for 250 new engine option (NEO) family of aircrafts. Financial details and delivery of the order were not immediately available. The aircraft has a list price of $102 million per aircraft and Airbus charged a premium of $6.2 million for each NEO on A-319, A-320 and A-321 planes.
 
In the meantime, for the 6th year running, IndiGo Air has reported profit of Rs317 crore for the period ending 31 March 2014, which is much lower than Rs787 crore in the previous year, mainly due to increased  airport costs and high fuel prices.
 
Due to the intervention by the Civil Aviation Ministry, some states have started to reduce the tax on air turbine fuel (ATF).  This is like to be reflected in the next year's results!
 
At the moment, IndiGo Air has a fleet of 81 aircraft. This MOU will enable it to obtain 30 more A 320s and will enable the company to have a greater share of the market.  The other domestic airlines, such as Jet Airways and Spice Jet are not making profits and the industry is heavily burdened with carried over loss for the last several years (estimated to be over $10 billion) and the combined debt of over $ 16 billion. Several new companies have already begun their domestic operations, such as Air Asia, Air Costa, and Vistara may take to the sky soon.
 
So, having established itself as the largest successfully operating domestic carrier, and making profits, IndiGo Air is likely to come out with its IPO at the end of this year, or most likely in the first quarter of 2015. It appears from press reports that some of the bankers have been already selected for this purpose, but the details have not been made public.
 
The Indian domestic market is very competitive and it is likely to be for the best to survive which can meet the exacting needs of the traveller.  So far, IndiGo air has done well and with the enlarged fleet, they would be able to do better in due course, covering wider territory.
 
Finally, as Star Alliance is now open to add another airline from India, would IndiGo Air fit the bill?  This remains to be seen early next year.
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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Phillips' Colon Health's Bloated Claims
DOJ alleges Bayer violated previous court order by making unsupported claims about product
 
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer is once again in hot water for allegedly pushing unproven health claims to promote one of its dietary supplement products. 
 
Seven years after settling allegations that it falsely marketed its One-A-Day WeightSmart vitamins as a weight-loss remedy, Bayer faces similar charges over the marketing for another one of its dietary supplements, Phillips’ Colon Health.
 
The 2007 settlement slapped Bayer with a $3.2 million civil penalty — which was really mild considering the company’s revenues totaled nearly $140 billion during the time it sold the vitamins — but it also required that Bayer refrain from making any unproven health claims about its dietary supplements in the future.
 
Now, the U.S. Department of Justice says Bayer violated that court order with its multimillion-dollar marketing campaign for Phillips’ Colon Health.
 
The DOJ said in a release last month:
… the United States alleges that Bayer expressly claims Phillips’ Colon Health can “defend against” occasional constipation, diarrhea, and gas and bloating, and impliedly claims that Phillips’ Colon Health prevents, treats and cures constipation, diarrhea, and gas and bloating, even though the company lacks competent and reliable scientific evidence for those claims.
 
Consumers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for Phillips’ Colon Health, the DOJ said.
Bayer refutes the allegations, arguing that “the government’s motion is based on an erroneous standard” on how it deals with dietary supplements.
 
“Probiotic bacteria, including the three species used in Phillips’ Colon Health, have a long and well-documented safety record, complemented by substantial science supporting their digestive benefits,” the company said in a statement. “Indeed, the government does not dispute that the product is safe.
 
“Claims about PCH are fully substantiated by numerous clinical, animal and genetic studies, among other things, and satisfy all applicable legal standards.” 
 

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