Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Great News for Doctors as Lawyers Train Their Guns on Drug Firms
I was just watching news in New York, a few weeks back, and came upon an advertisement. A lawyers’ firm in New York was inviting patients to send information on the side-effects of drugs they were taking to them directly so that they could get the patient compensation from the multinational petrochemicals corporations called the drug companies! Normally, one comes across such advertisements to sue doctors for malpractice, negligence and what have you. I then learnt that the US now permits drug companies to be sued directly for dangerous side-effects of drugs. This must have been a great relief to American doctors who were the target of the ambulance-chasing lawyers so far. Now, the lawyers, armed with this new law, are after the drug companies as they are the real large sharks that net trillions of dollars compared to doctors and hospitals that look like small fry now. 
 
Soon, there will be legal firms specialising in attacking the drug lords instead of poor doctors. When this gathers full steam, many of our doctors need not have the anxiety of being sued for anything and everything. One of the advertisements that I saw looked like the pharmacology textbook’s chapter on statins. The lawyer was saying that almost everyone on statins gets muscle damage with or without symptoms like muscle-ache, etc. Between 10%-47% of people on statins become diabetics within their first year on statins; kidney damage is not unusual; and liver damage is a certainty. “If you have any one of those symptoms, do write to us and we will get maximum damage from the drug companies for you. No legal fees. If we win, we will share the booty.” So went the message of the advertisement. Does that not look attractive?
 
While it is good for doctors to feel safe, it is good for the patients also, since the drug companies may not go out of their way to wine and dine doctors to prescribe their medicines for indications for which they have not been permitted in the first place. Interestingly, this law does not cover vaccination injuries! Vaccine manufacturers must be richest among the drug lords, hence, they could make the government exempt them from this law. Extending this further, very soon, the cunning angiogram/angioplasty industrialists might pass on their mistakes on the device-makers.
 
The man-on-the-street has so much faith on the chemical drugs and surgery as the custodians of their well-being and their lives that they are ready to accept anything, in the name of science. Truth is otherwise. A substantial part of human healing is well outside the realm of materialistic reductionist science. Thinkers in mainline science seem to have woken up. In an article, in 2011, Michael Crow, the president of the Arizona State University and a leading science administrator, wrote that the US National Institutes of Health’s annual budget of $30 billion should not be just confined to molecular biological and other conventional ways of looking at human health; it must also look at health as a human experience in its biological, sociological and environmental angles. People’s feelings, their emotions and beliefs also matter in personal and societal health. I feel, we should be less arrogant about our scientific knowledge. Did our ancestors know how to communicate with plants and animals to know about our present knowledge of herbal and animal sources of therapy?
 
With the Damocles’ sword hanging no longer on their necks of consumers’ claims, doctors should now be able to think outside the box for better intervention outcomes. With humility, better sense would prevail. Long live the time-honoured doctor-patient relationship which is very sacred and does the main job in healing, anyway. Let not mankind perish from the reductionist side-effects of drugs eventually. 

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COMMENTS

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

3 months ago

I hope next in line is the Hospitals themselves, while sparing the doctors. Long live the sacred relationship between the patient and doctor.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. It is good that the lawyers are focusing their attention on the drug companies, who are the main culprits, who generally bribe the medical practitioners, in prescribing their pharmaceutical brands by providing free physicians sample, parties etc. In some cases, I was informed that they are annually incentivised with tours abroad.

How Can You Benefit from UPI?
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched a new payment solution which actually is a much improved way, in terms of ease of use, over the previous one, IMPS (Immediate Payment Service). This new solution, unified payments interface (UPI), allows customers to use virtual payment addresses, like [email protected], as payment identifier for sending and collecting money. This UPI works on a single click, two-factor authentication. Two factors that work in favour of UPI are: 1) an option to push or pull financial transaction on schedule; and 2) linking it with only a bank account. The linking of UPI to a bank account, without revealing account details, should eliminate security concerns, largely. 
 
How It Works
First, as a user, you need to register with your payment service-provider (PSP) and create a virtual payment address (VPA), before sending or receiving funds using UPI and link it to your account. Also, remember, this UPI can be linked only with a bank account and not to a wallet. Money can be transferred either by using VPA or the bank account number and Indian Financial System Code (IFSC). For transactions using VPA, the fund receiver also needs to have a VPA or account number and IFSC. 
 
 
The various channels for transferring funds using UPI are:
1. Transfer through virtual ID;
2. Account number + IFSC;
3. Collect / Pull money based on virtual ID (VPA).
 
 
UPI also provides an option for scheduling push & pull transactions for various purposes like sharing bills among peers. One can use the UPI app instead of paying cash on delivery on receipt of product from online shopping websites. It can also be used for miscellaneous expenses, like paying utility bills, over-the-counter payments, barcode (scan and pay)-based payments, donations, school fees and other such cases.      
 
The interface is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which is a 24X7 funds transfer service. UPI allows a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks. 
 
Security
To ensure privacy of customer’s data, there is no account number mapper anywhere other than with the customer’s own bank. This allows the customer to freely share the financial address with others. A customer can also decide to use the mobile number as the name instead of the short name for the virtual address like [email protected]
 
The VPA acts as a financial address without having to reveal the bank account number and IFSC code. Once registered for VPA, users can send and receive payments instantly from any bank account using their mobile phone in a safe and secure way. They will also be able to make payments to merchants from their mobile phones where UPI is accepted as a payment mode.
 
How Much Money Can Be Transferred?
Users can make payments with UPI 24x7 on all days, including bank holidays, up to a maximum of Rs1 lakh. At present, 21 banks are on board with NPCI for the UPI application. In addition, this app is available only on Android-based mobile phones. 
 
Here are the names of banks and their official app (available on Google Play):
Federal Bank (Lotza), Bank of Maharashtra (Maha UPI), TJSB Bank (TRANZAPP-UPI), Karnataka Bank (KBL SMARTZ (UPI)), DCB Bank (DCB Bank UPI App), Union Bank of India (Union Bank UPI App), Vijaya Bank (VIJAYA UPI), United Bank of India (UNITED UPI), Punjab National Bank (PNB UPI), Axis Bank (Axis Pay), South Indian Bank (SIB M-Pay (UPI Pay)), Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB-UPI), ICICI Bank (Pockets), Andhra Bank (Andhra ONE), UCO Bank (UCO-UPI), YES Bank and Canara Bank (Empower). 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

2 months ago

Surprising, or rather unsurprising that India's largest Bank - SBI - is yet to offer this service !!! But, if this does work seemlessly, I wish Banks would offer RuPay Cards to customers instead of MasterCard / VISA Cards, as RuPay Cards will be managed / authenticated by NPCI and transaction costs could be much less than MC/VISA.

Anand Vaidya

3 months ago

What are the charges?

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

3 months ago

One more step closer to saving our sanity in dealing with banks. Hope it works without hitches. But unless it is integrated with with money managing software for individuals, we are still far behind in utility for the users.

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

3 months ago

One more step closer to saving our sanity in dealing with banks. Hope it works without hitches. But unless it is integrated with with money managing software for individuals, we are still far behind in utility for the users.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. Technology has indeed made it easy and convenient especially for the young and technically savy customers. But our old services like return of unpaid clearing cheques, to the customers, now has suffered a setback, compared to the service available just a few years back. This too has to be kept on par with the recent technological advances.

World schooling the new form of learning
To start with a whole load of people will ask what world schooling is. I define it as homeschooling on the go: Educating your child through experiential learning whilst travelling in the world.
 
World schooling is the new way of home schooling children, an unconventional way of education, where the child learns while travelling the world and interacting with people of different cultures. It is a form of experiential learning. 
 
Unconventional parents opt for this unconventional way of educating their children. These parents believe that the world is the classroom, the earth their text book and they believe that a child's education is not confined to one classroom, but by experiencing what the text book teaches.
 
Research has shown that children learn best through play and experiences. People feel far less reliant on the classroom-plus-teacher model and far more comfortable knowing they simply have to provide a supportive learning environment. This method also makes the child an independent thinker and an independent decision maker. Some parents prefer to take curriculum on the road; others use the world around them as the curriculum.
 
Now, here is the catch: World schooling may seem fancy and may sound easy, but a whole load of planning and homework needs to be done right from picking the location, to reading up of the culture of the place, to the food habits, to the famous places to visit.
 
If, as parents, you choose world schooling it is your responsibility to make sure your child is learning from this experience; otherwise he might as well go to school and learn in a structured manner.
 
For world schooling to be effective, it is advisable that parents pick on locations that they are traveling to, research about the country thoroughly (demographics, culture, tradition and the like). If you are travelling with children older than 8, get them involved too. Make them read about the place, list down things they would want to do in that country and the places they would like to visit. This gives the child a direction and helps him/her think about things they would have ideally missed.
 
Parents should create something called a reflection journal in which, on a daily basis, the child documents all the places visited and all that was picked up or noticed on that day. It is essential to create a broad outline for a child so that the learning is effective. This is essential because if you do not guide them they will either pick up only a few things or they will go all the way on a holiday and be stuck on their phones or 
I-pads. 
 
For example, if you are flying, make your child calculate the cost per mile of the flight - the child uses math here. If you are travelling by road, give the child a sheet of trees, flowers or fruits that are generally grown in that country and make them identify them - the child is learning geography here. If you are visiting a
supermarket, create a pictorial sheet of milk brands and let the child search for each of them.
 
Essentials to carry while on your trip:
 
* Books: Carry a few books that are specific to the place you are visiting, a few story books and a few conceptual books on each subject.
 
* Kindle: It is advisable that children use physical books; however, if carrying too many books is not possible, then you should use the Kindle.
 
* Games (Uno, Scrabble et al): Children need play time and a few games are helpful for learning as well. For instance, Uno helps you enhance math skills, Scrabble enhances word-making abilities.
 
* I-pad with essential educational apps: Even though it is advised that you limit screen time for children, when they are using the I-pad you might as well make sure you have a few educational apps downloaded so that they are learning every minute.
 
* Writing book: If you have a small child, make sure you carry a handwriting book so that they are being trained to write.
 
* Reflection book: It is very essential that you create a book that makes the child reflect and document its learning of the day.
 
* Maps, list of museums, historical sites and natural wonders.
 
World schooling as a concept is new; however it will become a trend, and it is something that you should practise while travelling with your child on a general basis as well.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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