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Financial complexity of MIDDLE-MAN in Medical Industry # Insurance pays 45 -80 % of Covid bills


     

 Medical care  intertwined with health business, further braided with changes in medical law presents a more complex problem rather than   just treating a patient well. In present era, many kinds of organizations have positioned themselves between doctor and the patient.

      This era  belongs to a transitional phase, when  gradual  conversion of doctor-patient interaction to a business transaction  is being controlled by industry’s middlemen .  One such middle industry is Insurance industry. The medical industry, insurance, law industry and administrative machinery remain hidden in the background and enormously benefitted at the cost of doctors and nurses, who suffered at the front, as face of the veiled colossal medical business and remain the only visible components.  Insurance industry is in a position to extract business from doctor as well as patients.  One such example is published in Times of India, where insurance company  has paid bills between 45-80%.  Each one of the medical industrial component trying to have their pound of flesh, will not only push  the cost of health care upwards, but would leave  both the main stakeholders, doctors and patients feel dissatisfied.

Policy holders get only  45 -80 % of Covid bills TIMES OF INDIA

As the number of people hospitalised due to Covid rise, many find that they have to settle a big chunk of the bill out of their own pockets despite having health insurance. Policyholders are again caught in the crossfire between hospitals and insurers over the treatment of consumables like personal protection equipment (PPE) kits resulting in only 45% to 80% of hospital bills being recoverable by customers. For 81-year-old diabetic and hip fracture patient K Saraswathi, who was treated for Covid-19 for eight days got only Rs 56,500 reimbursed of the total Rs 1.18 lakh bill from third-party administrator Raksha. Among other things that were disallowed included Rs 17,600 for PPE claims. While insurers cite General Insurance Council (GIC) norms their argument may not hold water as IRDA has not approved any norms. “How can a hospital treat a patient without PPEs?” asked an official at the Insurance Ombudsman office which is snowed under with complaints for short-settlement. “We used to get a few cases last year, now we have 88 pending cases, 70% to 80% of which are short settlements,” the official said.


For some insurers, the exclusions amount to a third of hospital bills. Liberty General officials said around 35% of the bill does not fall under the ambit of insurance coverage. Its VP and national claims manager for accident & health, Amol Sawai said, “On the industry level, the average Covid claim severity is Rs 1,40,000, the settlement severity is about Rs 95,000 of the claimed amount. We have seen almost 20% of the total bill is attributed to PPE costs.” India’s largest health insurer Star Health settles nearly 80% to 90% of claims under cashless settlement within two hours of receiving claims. S Prakash, MD of Star Health said, “One doctor who takes a round in the same PPE kit, cannot charge for each of ten patients he visits. The controversy is not in the reimbursement for PPEs, but in the number of PPEs covered. One cannot claim for ten PPEs per day. For ICUs, we allow a higher number of PPE kits compared to the ward,” he said.


According to the GIC officials, the referral rate for PPE kits is Rs 1,200 per day for moderate sickness and Rs 2,000 per day for severe sickness.


“We also see a spike in claims made for CT scans per person. We allow maximum two CT scans per patient,” he added. Officials at the GI Council blamed the hospitals for this situation. “Why are no directions given to hospitals on billing?” asks a council official. He points out an instance where a Tamil Nadu hospital charged Rs 14,000 for medicines, Rs 55,000 for diagnostics and Rs 50,000 for PPE besides room rent. When the insurer raised a red flag, the bill was halved to Rs 1.5 lakh.


“Is it okay for hospitals to loot with such high bills, whose money are we paying? It is the public’s money. If the premium doubles next year, will anyone even think of medical insurance. If we raise our hands and give up covering medical insurance, can anyone force us to provide a cover,” the official asked. The short settlement by insurance companies is resulting in a rise in complaints at the office of Insurance Ombudsman in Chennai.


“Insurers are citing some GI Council norms for claims settlement. Whatever they are saying does not hold water as IRDA has not approved any norms. How can a hospital treat a patient without PPEs?,” an official at the Insurance Ombudsman office said. Hospitals on their part blame the westernization of healthcare where insurance companies call the shots. “How can an insurance company decide on medication? A Dolo works for some while a Combiflam works for another, both these have a price differential. Now to say I will pay Dolo charges for a Combiflam or vice versa is plain stupidity. We need someone who looks at the bill and the patient and not one size fits all,” a MD and head of infectious diseases in a private hospital said. “The need is a regulator who understands medicine,” he said.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

New book: ‘The Real Issues’ through ‘fictional narratives’


“AT THE HORIZON OF LIFE AND DEATH”

Find it on Amazon :

Description

         This book comprises of stories that capture the pivotal moments in the treatment trajectory of the critical patients facing death.  The times that force the doctor to confront the saddest moments, while battling a terrifying, unbeatable foe, the death monster alongside families’ fears, gloom, indecisiveness, dilemmas about future and saviour’s own predicaments intertwined with medico-legal intricacies and consequent complex emotional interactions.  

        The situations depict ‘the real issues’ through ‘fictional narratives’. 

       The stories reflect life of a doctor in the present era, amidst sick patients in an imposed legal milieu, a mystic journey, an arcane odyssey punctuated with pain and pleasure in the narrow and uncertain lanes at the horizon of life and death, carrying the burden of various vicissitudes like consumerism, legalities, unpredictable course of diseases, mistrust and blame for poor outcomes.   

        The narratives try to unmask the eternal latent vulnerability that is intrinsic in doctor’s work, which is exploited by media, law industry and even celebrities to sensationalize and sell their news and shows. The vulnerability turns more evil as the delineating cleft that separates doctors from the invisible overpowering medical industry is not shown, thus ensuring to sustain the prejudice with its dangerous bias towards health care workers. 

        One negative news story through a ‘portrayal effect’ generates unbridgeable gap in doctor -patient relationship, painful burden of mistrust loaded on doctors, that would heal only if millions of unfettered, unprejudiced, unbiased facts are clearly projected. 

           The book tries to highlight a seemingly illogical and contrary nature of the conflict; the doctors are finding themselves increasingly being engaged into. The dense mazes of consumerism, extensive communication, documentation, unrealistic expectations, negative media insinuations, legal complexities are demoralizing to doctors and certainly counterproductive for patients.

         The futile discords emanate frequently, that are mundane in reality when compared to the actual disease and the real point of intention which is ‘The Treatment of the Patient’.

         But is this what the patients actually need? Does the entanglement of doctors in such a maze help the patients in real sense?

        The author felt morally compelled and attempted to find answers, embedded in a journey that was wondrous and inspirational, but with horrifying moments as well.

        Has the decision to treat human fragility become a mistake in present era?  No reward, if you win the match of life and death but sword hanging; if  one were to lose?     

       Patient will need to decide someday, whether to be a consumer or just remain a patient. 

       Being a consumer may be an overall loss-making deal for the patient.

Disclaimer

   The stories are fictional, but the depiction of the problems to the doctors, nurses and patients are real, based on day to day routine incidents. The episodes do not pertain to any single particular person, patient, doctor, nurse, hospital and organization. All the characters, names and dialogues in the book are figment of imagination of the author and similarity to any person, any situation or organization may be co-incidental.

            The stories are not against any law, word of courts, profession, any government or any organizational set up or rules of any country. They depict the problems commonly faced by doctors in performing their duties hence are likely to affect the patient directly.

REEL HEROES VS REAL HEROES in PANDEMIC


    

 There has been frequent attempts by REEL HEROES and  celebrities, to projected themselves as Messiah for the cause of patients.  By self-appointing themselves as custodian of health of masses, ‘the Reel heroes’ and celebrities gave true meaning to their work of ‘ACTING’ that otherwise is no more than a trifling entertainment.

     An anecdotal episode of adverse event or poor prognosis was enough to be used as an illustration to portray whole medical professionals as dystopian community but what remained invisible to all was the fact that every day in hospitals, thousands of lives are salvaged back from the brink of death.

But the actual bargain was an attempt to project Reel heroes as Real heroes and vice versa.    

         Media and many celebrities have used fear in public mind to garner accolades and money for themselves, but at the same time created paranoia in minds of people against medical profession.  And when masses worshiped them as their true well-wishers, they aired advertisements to sell tobacco, soft drinks, junk foods and other sweet poisons to public and children.

        There is an eternal, latent vulnerability that intrinsic in the way doctors’ work and has potential to make them sitting ducks for harassment and punishments.  It was easy to discern that vulnerability was being exploited and turned more evil, when braided with such  insinuations by media and celebrities.

         The negative projection to create a generalization in minds of people had been demotivating and demeaning to the entire health care workers.  The selective projection had left behind a trail of hopelessness in the mind of people, shattering their trust and instigating against medical profession.

But the problem starts, when these false perceptions  created merely   by a projected glimmer    takes the shimmer away from the real worthy. The real professionals and people who are worthy of glory become invisible behind the glittery mist, a haze, which is unreal and unhelpful in real life.

In present era, real contributions by people, who are saviours of human life and the real heroes, remain unappreciated. People are so besotted by their fame and money that they fail to appreciate the sacrifices made by real heroes. Filmy super hero just imitates a doctor, soldier, dacoit or a street hooligan and just pretends to be one on the screen.

     But there are  real life heroes that exist around us. Doctors awake at night saving lives every minute or soldier in freezing cold are worthy  of more respect and are real heroes.  And it is up to the society  to look beyond the superficial and reel story, and focus on the real life actors. There has to be an true effort to make, respect and appreciate  real heroes.

Even a junior doctor saves many lives in a  day in emergencies as compared to the work of a superstar in films.  A teacher, nurse or scientist have a contribution which is more fruitful to our generation.       A  society truly needs the real people, who work and act for them, more than just entertainment. It will need a total change in the attitude of people to deconstruct their perceptions, which are based on mere projections and are away from reality.

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

The naivety of masses to perceive the projected character as real one  goes beyond a reasonable thought process and imagination.

   At the best, a particular projected character (and not individual acting star) may be a  role model. An actor or superstar, is simply doing his work of “acting” in  the end. This work of acting may bring an entertainment of few hours at the most.

Point to ponder is that whether society needs people  just  acting like   doctors,  soldiers  and not the  actual and real ones, who saves lives.

Society needs to envisage the bigger real picture, and should not be mistaken for another projected story.                          

The perception of the projection will decide, what does the   society actually  need- or desire-or deserve , “Reel Heroes or Real Heroes”.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Ayurvedic Surgery: who should be concerned?


         A strange situation has cropped up after the claim of Ayurvedic doctors doing surgeries has got the CCIM approval. Serious doubts has been raised by Allopathic medical organizations about the consequent safety issues.

       There would always be claims or counter claims about who should be allowed to do surgeries.  But there has to be a neutral and competent authority to decide, rather than claiming the competence.  After all it is question about safety issues of millions of  people.

      Who should really decide about it?

     NABH  has raised concerns about the issue.

    Although it has limitations and can be applicable only to a fraction of hospitals, but still a larger network of hospitals or clinics are not covered by NABH.

      In such situation, who should be worried about the safety? Strangely the stakeholders, who would be affected most are silent on the issue: the patients.

      If patients  have nothing to protest and they feel safe or do not anticipate any danger, why allopathic doctors should make a noise about it? They would be seen as a Jealous cat.

     Use Ayush docs for clinical work and you could lose ACCREDITATION: NABH TO HOSPITALS

         The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH) has warned allopathic hospitals accredited with it that they could face withdrawal of accreditation if they were found employing Ayush doctors for performing clinical duties in ICUs and other patient care areas in place of MBBS resident medical officers (RMOs) and emergency doctors. A “cautionary notice” the board issued on Thursday said, “This is a blatant violation of NABH standards for healthcare accreditation and very much against patient safety norms and compromise quality of modern medicine clinical care outcomes.” TOI had, in October, reported on the use of Ayush doctors in ICUs for night duty being a fairly common practice in many private hospitals, particularly in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Thursday’s notice stated that the NABH has taken a serious note of the matter and reiterated that deploying of Ayush doctors in allopathic hospitals for writing independent orders and clinical work without the supervision of allopathic doctors is not permitted. In case the allopathic hospitals are employing such doctors to work as clinical assistants, under applicable state laws, they should not be involved in direct patient care and should strictly follow job responsibilities as defined by hospital management, it added.  Ayush doctors working in allopathic hospitals will not be considered by the NABH as RMOs during the process of assessment and for the purpose of grant of accreditation, stated the notice, adding that any violation may invite adverse decision by NABH, including withdrawal of accreditation. However, even as the NABH has been carrying out surprise inspections in hospitals in this matter, it is yet to have a definite list of states that allow Ayush doctors to be employed in allopathic hospitals to either prescribe a pre-defined set of allopathic medicines or to do clinical procedures after completing a bridge course. NABH officials clarified that the board’s legal team was in the process of determining the status of the law in different states.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Challenges of Covid Vaccination-2021


If 2020 was consumed by Covid Virus ,  the next year 2021 will be  for Covid vaccination.

All over the world, billions of people are going to get vaccine.

Corona vaccination is one of the most anticipated events in every country. in coming weeks, multiple vaccines   are likely to get regulatory approval. 

    However, while making a good vaccine was the difficult part, earning  trust of public in vaccine is going to be another one. Especially the hurried development at Pandemic speed  and lack of awareness about safety issues will be areas of concern.

  The adverse events, which are unexpected medial problems that occur with drug treatments, are unavoidable part of any treatment, including vaccine science.

    The system need to be in place to identify  the causal relationship between vaccine agent and  the adverse event.  The objective criteria have to be in place to identify and treat, as the population to be vaccinated is also very large.

 The main hurdles equally challenging will be sourcing, distributing and giving the actual vaccination doses.

The preparation for mammoth exercise will also be a herculean task. It may take months to get ready to supply and build the chains and preparation for this need to begin now.

A systematic approach needs to be ready, so that the process of vaccination gets on smoothly and quickly, as soon as the doses are available. For example, the need for transport vehicles and the storage facilities for billions of doses at distant places will be one of challenges.

It will take mammoth number of healthcare workers, who will vaccinate people at different towns and cities.  

This exercise, if not done in a well-planned manner, could result in chaos.   The failure to set up a system will not only result in suboptimal vaccination but also non uniform supplies. Maintaining the cold chain will be crucial for effectiveness.

 People should get it based on needs rather than black marketing or money power.   The issues which look insignificant like the financial complexity among various stake holders or customer clearances need to be settled first, as they may become significant hurdles for smooth distribution.

    Most important would be to safeguard citizen’s faith in vaccine and clinical trials. As for the future science to develop, would   require people’s co-operation, faith and participation.

     Government regulators and Vaccine makers need to recognize the utmost importance of the communication about the true results of trials and effective communication with the public.  The misinformation and distrust should not  undermine the good work of medical science and advancements.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Authorities mum on Adverse Event at Covid Vaccine Trial


Safety data of Covid Vaccine- need disclosure

   There are two important aspect of a successful vaccine,

1. Efficacy  for the prevention

2. Safety

       Given that the Covid vaccine is needed urgently and will be developed within a years’ time, some doubts about the safety aspect are natural. But safety can be assured, if the data about side effects is made public.

   All  the  companies  in a bid to rush their  vaccine into the market, are eager to  create an hype. But a caution need to be exercised against such hyping, especially when long term safety data is not available.

  Even the sparse details of the severe side effect,  that leak into the public domain, may be just tip of the iceberg, as far as long term safety data of a vaccine is concerned.

   All the side effects, mild or severe, need to be made known  and  in public domain, rather than exposed later after the use.

More than a month and a half after an adverse event occurred in a clinical trial in India of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the regulator for vaccine trials, has not issued any statement on the occurrence. It also did not respond to queries about whether it has completed its investigation to determine if the trial participant’s illness was related to the vaccine. Serum Institute, which is partnering the pharma MNC and Oxford University for producing the vaccine in India, has also refused to comment. This is in sharp contrast to AstraZeneca and Oxford University going public when one of the trial participants in the vaccine trial in the UK fell ill and halting the trial till an independent safety monitoring board and UK’s regulatory authority gave safety clearance. Information about the occurrence of the serious adverse event (SAE) during the vaccine trial in India came from the family of the trial participant, which has sent the company and the regulators a legal notice. Serum Institute merely stated that it would issue an official statement next week. AstraZeneca had issued a statement within days of the trial participant in UK falling ill and halted the trials across the world in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. The trial was resumed within a week after the independent safety review committee and national regulators gave clearance. The Indian Council of Medical Research is a co-sponsor of the trial along with Serum Institute.

According to the ICMR, it is for the DCGI to take a call on whether or not to halt the trial. The DCGI heads the CDSCO.

The 40-year-old trial participant, a business consultant with an MBA from New Zealand who says he took part in the trial deeming it his duty to help such an important venture, was administered the vaccine at SRMC on October 1. Eleven days later, he woke up with a severe headache, and progressively lost his memory, showed behaviour changes, became disoriented and was unable to talk or recognise his family members, according to the legal notice. As soon as he fell ill he was admitted to the ICU in SRMC.

“Though the legal notice we have served talks of a compensation of Rs 5 crore, our focus is not on monetary compensation. It was sent just last week, more than a month after the occurrence when we saw that none of the authorities was making the adverse event public. They ought to have warned other participants so that they could watch out for similar symptoms. We want to know why the occurrence of the adverse event has been kept under wraps and why the trial was not halted like it was done in the UK. Is an Indian life of less value than that of an UK citizen?” asked a close family friend who has been helping the family cope with the illness.

WHO says more data needed on AstraZeneca dose

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Ayurvedic Surgery: 10 Technical Questions? About safety concerns


      If there are certain doubts about the safety of the patient, the apprehension needs to be addressed.

      The government has issued a notification which authorises post-graduate practitioners in specified streams of Ayurveda to be trained to perform surgical procedures such as excisions of benign tumours, amputation of gangrene, nasal and cataract surgeries.

    The notification by the Central Council of Indian Medicine, a statutory body under the AYUSH Ministry to regulate the Indian systems of medicine, listed 39 general surgery procedures and around 19 procedures involving the eye, ear, nose and throat by amending the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2016.

     Any  Surgery, how-so-ever simple it may look to the people sitting on fence, carries some  risk and needs  some kind of precautions and regulations to make it risk free.  Therefore if there are certain doubts about the safety of the patient, the apprehension needs to be addressed. If the service of surgery by Ayurveda surgeon has to be availed by public, a certain confidence needs to be generated about the safety and quality assurance. Mere push by an enforced law will not lead to genesis of trust and confidence. So there needs to be technical analysis of some kind, whether  it is a genuine original  strategy or merely  an imposed law.

     If it was an accepted practice till now, there was no need for such notification. So apparently,  if the need was felt  to be said in a forceful manner, there has to be something unusual about the practice.

      No doubt, ancient Ayurvedic text referred to surgical practices. But  in present era of consumerism, patients need to know, how it was being practiced for last 200 to 300 years. What are the results and data about complications.

  There are two main categories for the purpose of discussion.

A. Existence of a robust system

B. Individual competencies.

    Firstly, there should be basic robust system  that will generate Ayurvedic surgeons.

To start with, the  CCIM need to  satisfy on following questions. Following are the basic requirements of surgery.

1. What  kind of Anaesthesia  will be used in surgeries by Ayurveda surgeons? Who will be the anaesthesiologist?

2. What are post op pain killers be used in surgeries by Ayurveda surgeons?

3. What antibiotics  will be  used;. Allopathic or ayurvedic?

4. What are principles of pre-op evaluation?

5. How surgical techniques are different. Are they same used in allopathic surgery or different ones described in Ayurveda?

6. How the post op complications are being managed. Is it by using allopathic medications and investigations?

7.  Data of surgeries done in last decade or two in all of  Ayurvedic medical colleges, especially those done by Ayurvedic surgeons.

8. Who is teaching Ayurveda doctors about the  surgeries? Are there ayurvedic teachers  or being taught by allopathic surgeons?

9. Will  the people in higher positions and government  officials be availing such facilities or it is only for the  poor people? 

10. Will the patients be given enough information or an informed consent about such Ayurvedic surgeons before  surgery?

         More than a law, the whole exercise   will require a trust building   in public  along with quality assurance and something unique to make such surgeries practically happen.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Neanderthal gene makes Covid more severe


What is Neanderthal gene

    Neanderthal-inherited genetic material is found in all non-African populations and was initially reported to comprise 1 to 4 percent of the genome. This fraction was later refined to 1.5 to 2.1 percent. It is estimated that 20 percent of Neanderthal DNA currently survives in modern humans.

Relation to severity of Covid

    Response to Covid infection varies from person to person. Some have severe covid infection, need ventilator and some remain unaffected. There is interest in the individual factors which influence the outcome of Covid infection. One such factor is the genetic predisposition.

     Covid-19 patients with a snippet of Neanderthal DNA that crossed into the human genome some 60,000 years ago run a higher risk of severe complications from the disease, researchers have reported.

People infected with the new coronavirus, for example, who carry the genetic coding bequeathed by our early human cousins are three times more likely to need mechanical ventilation, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

There are many reasons why some people with Covid-19 wind up in intensive care and others have only light symptoms, or none at all.

Advanced age, being a man, and pre-existing medical problems can all increase the odds of a serious outcome.

But genetic factors can also play a role, as the new findings makes clear.

“It is striking that the genetic heritage from Neanderthals has such tragic consequences during the current pandemic,” said co-author Svante Paabo, director of the department of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Recent research by the Covid-19 Host Genetics Initiative revealed that a genetic variant in a particular region of chromosome 3 — one of 23 chromosomes in the human genome — is associated with more severe forms of the disease.

That same region was known to harbour genetic code of Neanderthal origins, so Paabo and co-author Hugo Zeberg, also from Max Planck, decided to look for a link with Covid-19.

Unevenly distributed

They found that a Neanderthal individual from southern Europe carried an almost identical genetic segment, which spans some 50,000 so-called base pairs, the primary building blocks of DNA.

Tellingly, two Neanderthals found in southern Siberia, along with a specimen from another early human species that also wandered Eurasia, the Denisovans, did not carry the telltale snippet.

Modern humans and Neanderthals could have inherited the gene fragment from a common ancestor some half-million years ago, but it is far more likely to have entered the homo sapiens gene pool through more recent interbreeding, the researchers concluded.

The potentially dangerous string of Neanderthal DNA is not evenly distributed today across the globe, the study showed.

Some 16 percent of Europeans carry it, and about half the population across South Asia, with the highest proportion — 63 percent — found in Bangladesh.

This could help explain why individuals of Bangladeshi descent living in Britain are twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as the general population, the authors speculate.

Indian express-Article

In East Asia and Africa the gene variant is virtually absent.

About two percent of DNA in non-Africans across the globe originate with Neanderthals, earlier studies have shown.

Denisovan remnants are also widespread but more sporadic, comprising less than one percent of the DNA among Asians and Native Americans, and about five percent of aboriginal Australians and the people of Papua New Guinea.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

Covid Patients Remain Infectious for 9 days


Covid-19 patients can shed fragments of the virus that causes the infection for up to 83 days in their respiratory or stool samples but they are unlikely to be infectious for as long. According to a study published in The Lancet Microbe, one of world’s top medical journals, no live virus has been isolated from culture of the respiratory or stool sample beyond day nine of symptoms despite persistently high viral RNA loads. This means that a person affected by Covid-19 is infectious for nine days after developing disease symptoms though tests may find presence of the virus for nearly three months. The study conducted by researchers from UK and Italy involved systemic review and meta-analysis of 79 studies that focused on SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19. “The majority of studies included in our review were performed in patients who were admitted to hospital. Therefore, our findings may not apply to people with milder infection although these results suggest those with milder cases may clear the virus faster from their body. Additionally, the increasing deployment of treatments, such as dexamethasone, remdesivir as well as other antivirals and immunomodulators in clinical trials are likely to influence viral shedding in hospitalised patients. Further studies on viral shedding in this context are needed,” Dr Antonia Ho of MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, UK, who is one of the authors of the study, said.

article- times of india

                The Lancet Microbe study also suggests that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are mostly likely to be highly infectious from symptom onset and the following five days. Therefore, the researchers said, it is important to self-isolate immediately after symptoms start. Understanding when patients are most likely to be infectious is of critical importance for informing effective public health measures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The Lancet study looked at key factors involved in this: viral load (how the amount of the virus in the body changes throughout infection), viral RNA shedding (the length of time someone sheds viral genetic material (RNA), which does not necessarily indicate a person is infectious, as this is not necessarily able to replicate), and isolation of the live virus (a stronger indicator of a person’s infectiousness, as the live virus is isolated and tested to see if it can successfully replicate in the laboratory). The researchers found that the average length of time of viral RNA shedding into the upper respiratory tract, lower respiratory tract, stool and serum were 17 days, 14.6 days, 17.2 days and 16.6 days, respectively. The longest length of time that RNA shedding lasted was 83, 59, 35 and 60 days, respectively. “These findings suggest that in clinical practice, repeat PCR testing may not be needed to deem that a patient is no longer infectious, as this could remain positive for much longer and does not necessarily indicate they could pass on the virus to others. In patients with non-severe symptoms, their period of infectiousness could instead be counted as 10 days from symptom onset,” Dr Muge Cevik, the lead author of the study, said.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

     REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

     21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

     Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

#Medical-Consumer-Protection-Act: Pros & Cons: Advantages & disadvantages


As in last few decades, patients are defined as  consumers and Medical Consumer Protection Act takes roots, the whole system of medicine and healthcare has changed. All the new changes in regulation, insurance and legal system have resulted in facilitating and exercising an easy control of medical industry over health care, each revision has affected doctors adversely. They have been reduced to just only one small component of the industry, who deliver care and remain at receiving end for poor outcomes. Other important stake holders are patients. How this change has been beneficial for patients?   

     Suppressed professionals can be used to work more, get less paid and can be dragged to courts easily. It should be a win-win situation for all, except doctors. Therefore everyone makes merry, while doctors sulk, except those who can mingle with the present scenario,  act smart and are able to entrench themselves in  changed business and legal milieu.

Disadvantages of medical consumer Protection Act (Negatives, cons)

1 .Promotes Defensive medicine: Every patient with any illness has a potential for  complications. Progression of any disease state can cause death.  If doctors start looking at every patient as a potential litigant, especially while dealing with very sick ones, practice of defensive medicine is a natural consequence. This may manifest as excessive investigations, more use of drugs, antibiotics and even reluctance or refusal to treat very sick patients. Worst scenario of excessive fear will be refusal of very sick patients in emergency situations or non-availability of doctors.

2. Erosion of doctor-patient relationship: Stray and occasional Incidents about negligence, the cases in courts or their outcome attract wide publicity in media. People are unable to understand the correct application of such stray incidents to themselves. But they always try to imagine themselves being in the chaos or scenario projected. Because of prejudiced notions, a sense of mistrust gradually creeps in, which then extends into   and involves their own  imagination and  circumstances. This sense of mistrust multiplies manifold whenever there is some adverse or even small unpleasant event. Ultimately doctor and patients move forward together with a strained relationship and the treatment goes on with a surmounting sense of mistrust.

 3. Increased cost of care:   With the increasing need for defensive medicine, there is a need to document everything and to offer everything possible in the world, leading to increased  medical costs.  Insurance companies, medical industry and lawyers have positioned themselves in between doctor and patients. They charge everyone on both sides, heavily for allaying the fears, both  patients (medical insurance, lawyer fee) and doctors(indemnity insurance, lawyer’s fee) alike. The vicious cycle of rising costs, need for insurance, medicolegal suits, and high lawyer fee (for patients and doctors) goes on unabated. All these contribute significantly to overall increased cost of health care.

             25 factors for rising cost and expensive medical care.

4. Enhanced insecurity in medical profession: Needless to say, consumer protection act has increased the anxiety and insecurity of  the medical profession. One keeps wondering which patient will prove to be his bane and finish his total career, will result in professional hanging or a media trial. There is a real probability of being entangled in these problems in present era in day to day practice.

              Disadvantages  of being a doctor, nurse

5. Unnecessary litigation: Legal cases can be put on doctors for various trivial reasons,  for example the sense of revenge or to extract money or simply for avoiding  to pay for services.  In an era where family members, brothers and sisters fight for money, it will be naïve to think that idea of making money from doctor does not exist. These ideas  are further stoked by the incidents of previous high compensations granted  by courts .

   

6. Increased paper workexcessive documentation and time consumption: crucial and large chunk of time of doctors and nurses,   goes in completing documentation. Needless to say, this time previously was dedicated solely to patient service. Management is now-a day more worried about completing paper work as well. Initially it was a symbolic documentation, but now there is requirement of mammoth paper work. It leads to consumption of time that was meant for real discussions for the benefit of patients.

7. Doctors used as scape-goats for revenge: Any unsatisfied patient can vent his anger by putting complaint or case against the doctor.  This is done to some extent for revenge or just finding a human factor which can be punished. Not uncommonly doctors are used as scape- goats to have a concession on the patient treatment by administrators. Everything can be easily put on doctors as they are universal final link to a patient’s treatment and adverse effects.

8. Distraction of doctors from the primary point of intention:  Nothing else ever has distracted doctors more than  medico-legal cases and punishments. In certain circumstances, saving themselves becomes more important than saving a patient. Uncertainty of prognosis, grave  emergencies, split second lifesaving and risky decisions that may later be proved wrong by retrospective analysis with wisdom of hindsight.   Complex  medico-legal situations are endless distractions that have creeped in and are enough to distract doctors from primary point of intentions ‘the treatment.

9. Early retirement or burn out:  Becoming a doctor and practising has become a tough job. After people have reached a point of financial security or when near point of burn out, doctors tend to leave practice. No wise man will like to face medicolegal complexities in older age. Taken to court for a genuine decision is enough to spoil and tarnish  health, wealth and fame that was  earned by  slogging  the doctor’s whole life.

10. Reluctance to do emergency, risky work: If the decision to decide or act or help someone in an emergency situation, puts one’s own life and career to risk, why should anyone put himself in that difficult  position?  Therefore increasingly, financially secure doctors are staying away from the riskier jobs.

11 .Only Doctors are sufferers of the act: Patient can have poor outcome because of any reason. It can be severe disease, poor prognosis, rare or genuine complications or even unintentional mistake or human errors, system errors or deficiency. But retrospectively doctors can easily be blamed because of wisdom of hindsight.  All patients, who are unsatisfied or with unrealistic or unexpected outcome can go to courts. Whatever court decides, harassment of doctors is full and permanent. There is no compensation possible for the sufferings and agony spanned over years, even if court decides in favour of doctor.

12. Spoils teamwork among doctors; Whenever there is adverse outcome in any patient, all the doctors involved may start looking  for,  whom to blame  among themselves. All of them will try to pinpoint each other’s mistake.  Such situation produces a bitter and worst kind of disagreements among various teams or specialties. Mutual understandings take a back seat and the teamwork is spoiled permanently. Administrators in a bid to be safe,  encourage putting doctor’s concerns against each other, creating a strange sense of enmity. Ultimately  a mutual understanding and team work takes a hit.

13. Doctors converted to cheap labour:

Hugely benefitted are medical industry, law industry and administrators; The ease with which doctors can be harassed  has lead to rampant misuse of consumer protection ac and t has instilled a sense of deep fear in mind of medical professionals. The act has been used as a whip against the  doctors by all these three stakeholders. Fear of medicolegal cases has reduced doctors to cheap labour. Industry has used the protective systems to gain the maximum out of doctors hard work.  Benefits to law industry and lawyers  are obvious and don’t need to be elaborated. Besides this, even insurance industry has collected money both from doctors and patients by creating the fear.

14. Confusion while treating; Right decisions ?  A certain element of doubt always remains in minds of doctor whether he will get justice in the long run, or will end up being victim of sympathy towards patient or clever lawyering.  What was medically right and judicious decision at that real time situation may be  looked as  wrong later, especially when retrospective analysis  is done over years with fault finding approach. So taking medical decisions is becoming more difficult amid future uncertainty of disease.

15. Delayed treatment in emergency situations: Due to prejudiced minds, it is not uncommon for patient’s relatives to keep seeking second opinion, thereby delaying consent for procedures, surgeries and treatment. Though doctors know this problem, but they obviously cannot proceed without necessary documentation. With increasing mistrust, even emergency treatments are delayed. Delay in surgeries or therapies are a common outcome.

16. Instigation by law industryWindfall profits for lawyers and law industry at the cost of doctors is a disadvantage for medical profession: One can see zero fee and fixed commission advertisements on television by lawyers in health systems even in developed countries. They lure and instigate patients to file law suits and promise them hefty reimbursements. There is no dearth of such relatives, lawyers who are ready to try their luck sometimes in vengeance and sometimes for lure of money received in compensations.  This encouragement and instigations of lawsuit against doctors is a major setback for medical profession.

17. Hostile environment for young impressionable doctors: The young and bright doctors complete their long arduous training and then suddenly find themselves starting the work in a hostile environment. They find it strange to find themselves  at the receiving end of public wrath, law and media for reasons, they can’t fathom. They work with  continuous negative publicity, poor infrastructure and preoccupied negative beliefs of society.

18. Doctors have become ‘Sitting ducks’  for  continuous blackmail: Even with routine complications amongst very sick patients, a threat looms over doctor’s head. People do not accept even the genuine complication, what to talk of unintentional mistakes.   Mistakes   are always easy to be  pinpointed with retrospective analysis and with lawyers pondering over it for years. In such situations, doctors are sitting ducks for  any kind of blackmail.

 19. Demoralization of medical professionals – as selectively applied: strangely it applies   only to doctors. All of other professions are   out of it. Selective application is what demoralizes doctors.  Considering the uncertainty and kind of work of medical profession, actually it should be other way around. 

The consequences are like victimization.

Advantages of Medical Consumer Protection Act: (Positives, Pros)

1.  Redressal of grievances:  patient will get satisfaction, if there is a genuine negligence case

2.  Better quality of care ;  medical systems will improve as they will need to lessens the errors and  court cases. Better systems from abroad are also copied to improve the efficiency.

3. Better introspection by medical profession: although doctors from the beginning are sensitive about their work and always look at how better results can be achieved. But act will make this process more formal and official.

4. Training of medical professionals: it will be difficult to put errors under carpet.  Doctor will like to get trained better as no one want to be in soup.

5. Future  learning from court cases:  each and every court decisions  is viewed carefully by medical fraternity. Improvement in protocol and policy making is a natural consequence.

6.  Eye openers for medical profession: court cases and decisions have acted as eye opener for medical profession. It gives an idea, how law looks at medical treatment. It has made clear that medical science and medical law are a bit different. In real time, things are easier to be said than done.

 7. Better documentation and communication: for doctors to save themselves, documentation is the key. Previously doctors were doing everything, but not documenting much. But now there is lot of stress on documentation.

   Stress itself is not a bad thing. It can often help us perform at our best, expand beyond our limits and  achieve  better results.   The real problem lies in the fact that in this age,  anxiety prevailing more for care givers, a sense of injustice prevails . Stress generated can alter the ways, the patients get treated.  If the core of the health care  (medical hands) are harmed, no one can benefit in the long run.

21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

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