#India #Budget2013 and Health Sector


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

* Budget Allocation of Rs.37, 300 crores to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  Of this, the new National Health Mission that combines the rural mission and the proposed urban mission will get Rs.21,239 crore, an increase of 24.3 percent over the RE.

* Allocation of Rs. 4,727 crores for medical education, training and research

* Allocation of Rs. 150 crores for the National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly. This programme is being implemented in 100 selected districts of 21 States.  Eight regional geriatric centers are being funded for the development of dedicated geriatric departments.

* Allocation of Rs. 1,069 crore to the Department of AYUSH for mainstreaming Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy through the National Health Mission

* Allocation of Rs.1,650 crore for he six AIIMS-like institutions being set up

ICDS

* Allocation of Rs. Rs.17,700 crore in 2013-14, compared to Rs.15,850 crore in 2012-13, which is an increase of around 11.7%

* A multi-sectoral programme for reducing maternal and child malnutrition that was announced last year will be implemented in 100 districts during 2013-14 and it will be scaled up to cover 200 districts the year after.  Allocation of Rs. 300 crore for the programme in 2013-14.

Health Insurance

The Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana covers 34 million families
below the poverty line.  It will now be
extended to other categories such as rickshaw, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers,
sanitation workers, rag pickers and mine workers.

The Budget proposes a comprehensive and integrated social
security package for the unorganised sector that will benefit the poorest and
most vulnerable sections of society.  The
package should include life-cum-disability cover, health cover, maternity
assistance and pension benefits.  The
present schemes such as AABY, JSBY, RSBY, JSY and IGMSY are run by different
ministries and departments.  The Budget
proposes to facilitate convergence among the various stakeholder
ministries/departments so that we can evolve a comprehensive social security
package

Direct Taxes

Contributions made to the Central Government Health Scheme are
eligible for deduction under section 80D of the Income-tax Act.  The budget proposes to extend the same
benefit to similar schemes of the Central Government and State Governments.

Indirect Taxes

The budget proposes to provide for MRP based assessment in
respect of branded medicaments of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy and
bio-chemic systems of medicine.  There
will be an abatement of 35 percent.

Source: http://indiabudget.nic.in/bspeecha.asp

 

 

Attn Delhi-Protest-The Draconian Mental Health Care Bill- Oct 10th #Mentalhealthday


 

Disability Rights Group (DRG)

&

National Alliance for Access to Justice for People Living with Mental Illness (NAAJMI)

 

Protest

 

The Draconian Mental Health Care Bill

 

Time: Wednesday, 10th October, World Mental Health Day

 

Time:  11 A.M.

 

Venue: In front of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare office,

at Nirman Bhavan, C Wing, New Delhi

 

 

India is home t0 30-40 million people living with psychosocial disabilities or what we refer to as disability caused due to a ‘mental illness’.

 

The archaic Mental Health Act of 1987, an offshoot of the colonial Lunacy Acts, makes people with ‘unsound’ mind non-human! They are not considered to have opinions, wishes or feelings; and cannot act upon their own will, as per laws.

 

The Disability Act of 1995 defines ‘mental illness’ as a disability. India has also ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that talks about India’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights ofALL persons with disabilities.

 

However, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare seems to be ‘unaware’ of this. Nothing explains why then it has come out with a Mental Health Care (MHC) Bill, while completely failing to include mental health & well being to the Right to Health Act!

 

The draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2012 recently unveiled by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE) guarantees the ‘legal capacity’ and the ‘right to choice’ of all persons with disabilities, including those with psychosocial disabilities. The Ministry of Health has gone drastically against CRPD and the draft Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill and has advocated for involuntary incarceration and continuing with electric shock treatments and even lobotomies!

 

  • The rights of people with psychosocial disabilities must be governed by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Why is the Health Ministry then overstepping its turf? What is the Health Ministry’s motivation?
  • While the draft Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill of MSJE talks about ‘full legal capacity’, MHC Bill talks about ‘involuntary incarceration’? What is the Government of India’s stand on the issue if two of its Ministries are talking diametrically opposite on this?
  • Involuntary incarceration, over drugging, mental asylums, electric shock treatment and the rampant abuse & exploitation that goes on in the name of psychiatry and mental health goes against the letter of CRPD that India has ratified. What is India’s answer to the international community?

 

WE DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO THE PROCESS OF BRINGING A DRACONIAN MENTAL HEALTH CARE BILL

 

India bans Serological TB Tests , a step in right direction


Cell culture plates

Cell culture plates (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

In a welcome step, a gazette notification by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare banning serological test (commonly referred to as blood or antibody test) for TB, under the Drugs & Cosmetic Act, has finally been made public today. This gazette notification also, in particular bans the importation of the serological test kits.

The serological test for TB is widely used in the private sector, even though they are known to be inaccurate, inconsistent and with no clinical value for TB diagnosis. The World Health Organization (WHO) in its first-ever negative policy recommendation recently called on governments to immediately ban blood tests prescribed and used to detect TB. See WHO Factsheet on TB serological tests: http://www.who.int/tb/features_archive/factsheet_serodiagnostic_test.pdf

The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) has never recommended these tests. In fact, guidelines such as the International Standards for TB Care and those by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics actually discourage their use. According to a paper in National Medical Journal of India, “Despite the evidence and lack of any supporting policies, 15 lakh (1.5 million) TB serological tests are estimated to be done in India and as a result patients end up spending an estimated INR 75 crores (US$ 15 million) per year.” See attached paper published in National Medical Journal of India: “Tuberculosis Control in India: Time to get dangerously ambitious?”

As per this paper, “every major private laboratory in India offers TB serological tests, mostly ELISA kits imported from countries such as France and the UK. These countries, apparently, do not approve the same tests for clinical use on their own TB patients!”

Last year RNTCP’s committee on diagnosis asked the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)’s office to investigate and if necessary ban the serological tests conducted by the private sector.

An expert group set up by the DGCI found that blood tests are mostly inaccurate for TB detection. It had recommended to the Union health ministry to immediately ban them. (Report of the expert committee is not publicly available).

What do treatment and health activists working on TB feel about this regulation: A welcome move to check irrational practices on TB diagnosis in the private sector. But it needs strict implementation across the country to check this practice among doctors who prescribe and labs who conduct these tests. The import of serological test kits should be immediately stopped, which will improve the implementation of this government notification. At the same time, it is also equally important to increase access to accurate culture and drug sensitivity testing (DST) for drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in the public sector. A large number of patients with extra-pulmonary and drug resistant TB are pushed into the private sector when their TB is left undiagnosed in the public sector.

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