Friday, January 28, 2011



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Er. S.C.Maheshwari



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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Experts optimistic on healthcare for all in nation

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Mail Today New Delhi, Wednesday, Jauary 12.01.2011

Experts optimistic on healthcare for all in nation
By Dinesh C. Sharma in New Delhi
Given the poor state of India’s healthcare, a universal system that ensures cash-free and accessible healthcare for all in another 10 years may almost sound like a dream. But a group of public health leaders put together by medical journal The Lancet feels this is possible and has proposed a blueprint to achieve this ambitious goal.
At present, the Indian system is one of the most fragmented and co­mmercialised systems in the world. The government spends less than one per cent of the GDP on health.
A bulk of the health-related expendi­ture — 78 per cent — is spent by the peo­ple themselves. This is one of the highest rates of out-of-pocket expenditure on health in the world. The money spent on healthcare is pushing 39 million Indians below the poverty line every year.
"Yes, the goal of a universal healthcare system is ambitious but achievable," Dr K. Srinath Reddy, who led the team of experts, said. "One of the reasons (for this optimism) is the increase in the gov­ernment's capacity to finance such a plan, created by the unprecedented eco­nomic growth." The plan has been elabo­rated in a series of papers published in Lancet, and discussed at a meeting of health experts in the Capital on Tuesday.
The recommendations have also been presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "Political will is cru­cial- Politicians must realise that health is an essential pre-requisite for transforming economic growth into a meaningful outcome," Dr Richard Horton, editor, The Lancet, said.
 The plan comes at a time when the gov­ernment has also shown some concern over the state of health in the country. A high-level expert group on universal health coverage is currently working on a set of recommendations for the next five year plan. The WHO has also recently emphasised the need for universal care.
A twin strategy of increasing govern­ment spending on health from one per cent of the GDP to six per cent, and the gradual decline in out-of-pocket expen­diture to 20 per cent has been proposed by the Lancet group. It says an inte­grated national health system should be developed to provide free healthcare at the point of use. It should be financed through sources other than out-of-pocket costs. An insurance fund should be set up with financing from the public, employer and private sources. "The existing private sector can be integrated in such a system provided there is a strong regulatory system to ensure quality,cost &pat6ients rights” Dr. Reddy said
Dr Binayak Sen, the jailed doctor and civil rights activist who was scheduled to speak at the conference, however, was skeptical about the plan in his comments published in the journal. "The stunted public health system is hardly geared up to absorb increased allocation. Already state governments are returning allo­cated money because of their inability to absorb increased allocations," he wrote.
The National Health Bill 2009 — which addressed issues like equitable access health facilities and drugs as well as safe water and sanitation, Sen said, makes no commitment to public financing.
The idea of integrating the private sec­tor into the national healthcare system has also attracted criticism. "The corpor­ate-led private sector cannot be con­trolled by integration—it has to be conf­ronted by being made to compete against a well-resourced and managed public system that is run by public fun­ds," Amit Sengupta, of the Jan Swasthya Abhryan, said.

·        Over three-quarters of health spending in India is paid privately
·        Spending on drugs constitute about 70-80% of out-of-pocket expen­diture for outpatients,
·        Health expenditure is pushing 39 million Indians into poverty every year
·        With 1.8 million deaths among children below five years and 68,000 deaths among mothers every year, India's burden of reproductive and child health and nutrition is bigger than any other country. About 52 million children are stunted as well

The way ahead :
·        Bring down the percentage of  pocket expenditure from 78 to 20 per cent
·        New resources can be  raised from increased taxa­tion on tobacco,  alcohol and junkfood
·        Constitution of a national Insurance fund, financed by public employers and private sources
·        A regula­tory system to ensure the quality of health-care, drug prices and patients1rights needs to be set up

Tax the Junk Food to fund medical plan

THOSE fighting against levying user charges in healthcare institutes such as the All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) stand vindicated. A high-level group of experts and scientists has opposed the trend of charging for services in government hospitals.
User charges can never be a source of revenue as is argued by proponents of a user fee, the experts said. Instead, additional resources for health should be generated through Increased taxation on tobacco, alcoholand energy-dense junk food, they said while releasing a series of research on India, published in The Lancet
"We know from experi­ence on user charges from across the world that these cannot be a major source of revenue. User fee actually leads to denial of access to healthcare services," Dr A.K. Shlvakumar, from UNICEF India and one of the scientists who worked on the series, said.
A November 2010 circular at AIIMS had drawn criticism from some scientists and doctors at the Institute. The group said It was an attempt to increase cha­rges for services. Later, the government clarified that onlycharges for private rooms and serv­ices would be upwardly revised.
Experts said the government should go in for universal (sing healthcare by increasing taxes on tobacco, alcohol and junk food. Increase in taxes could also give additional health benefits through reduced con­sumption of such products. "Tax-based financing of health sector is the solution. Even insurance is not the answer as a majority of people cannot afford to pay the premium," he said. Only less than 10 per cent of households have health insurance.
The main reason for India's poor performance In health i sector is the lack of adequate ; investments. With government; spending only about one per 1 cent of GDP on health, India Is i among the countries which • spend lowest In health. Countries like China, Sri Lanka and Thailand are spending two percent or more of GDP on health.
 "The result is that 78 percent of spending on healthcare is ' out-of-pocket by the people,"
 Dr K. Srinath Reddy, Public s Health Foundation, said
According to a PTI report,    when asked about the naming of the superbug NDM-I after
New Delhi, lancet editor Dr Richard Horton said,  "It should not have been named
after a city.... It was an error and I apologize. I think it should be renamed, but it should be up  to the microbiologists (who discovered the superbug)."

Er. S. C. Maheshwari

Saturday, January 15, 2011

S.C.Maheshwari's visit to Ambala RPWA

News letter - Er.S.C.Maheshwari


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Retirement benefits can not be denied to employee  even if charges against him are pending

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that Government cannot deny retirement benefits to an employee who was asked to go on conditional retirement because charges against him were pending.  A Division Bench of Justice R.Banumathi and Justice S. Nagamuthu rejected the contention of the  government that Sankaran, an Assistant Tahsildhar had been allowed to retire on certain conditions as charges were pending against him,and hence he could not be given retirement benefits. 
A single judge had already revoked the order of the collector suspending payment of retirement benefits. 
Similarly Raja,a retired Sub-Registrar of cooperatives was allowed conditional retirement on April 30, 2010. But his retirement benefits were suspended as charges were pending against him. His writ petition was dismissed by a single judge, and he had come on appeal. 
The Judges said when the Government employees are allowed to retire on condition, disciplinary action could be taken against them or inquiry conducted afresh. But government had no power to suspend payment of retirement benefits to them, the court said. 
In a common order passed for both of them, the bench said when they are allowed to retire they should be given their retirement benefits. 
Only government had power to take decision on disciplinary action against them, the bench observed and directed that all retirement benefits be paid to them.

(A Government of Indian
Bharat Sanchar Bhawan, Janpath, New Delhi–1.

No. 40-19/2010-Pen(B)
Dated : 01-12-2010

All Heads of Telecom Circles/Telecom District/
Other Administration Offices/
Telecom Stores/Telecom Factories.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

Sub: Processing of papers related to retirement benefits of un-absorbed/absorbed BSNL employees-regarding streamlining of procedure for early settlement of pensionary benefits. 

This is in continuation this office letter of even number dated 19.8.2010 with regard to timely settlement of retirement benefits of un-absorbed/absorbed BSNL retirees. As you would be aware, the CCA offices in the field release pension orders and other retirement benefits after receipt of pension papers complete in all respects from concerned BSNL units. Needless to emphasize, if the pension papers are incomplete and or vigilance/disciplinary clearance not submitted, the issue of PPO and other final benefits get delayed in CCA office which causes great inconvenience to the pensioners. 

2. It is requested that before the 1st of January of each year, a print out of all officials due for retirement in forthcoming year be taken out from HRMS system. This facility is available under the Staff module Reports Retirement Profile year wise. Each such official may be approached by administration for filling up his pension paper by giving appropriate set, well in time and the same be got submitted by the individual to Head of Office not later than eight months prior to the date of retirement. 

3. The Head of office, not later than 6 months of the date of retirement of the BSNL absorbed & un-absorbed employee, should forward to A.O., Form 5 & 7 duly completed with a covering letter in Form 8 along with service book of the employee duly completed upto" date, and any other documents relied upon for the verification of service. He should also prepare the “Pension Calculation Sheet" in the prescribed Form in triplicate and forward it to Communication Accounts Officer of the concerned DOT Cell/CCA Office. 

4. A check list has been attempted which will help the concerned Pension Branch of Circle Office to cross check that the pension papers are in order before sending to CCA office. A copy of check list is enclosed as ANNEXURE. It is expected that this will also facilitate the issue of PPO by CCA office expeditiously. 
(Sheo Shankar Prasad)
Assistant General Manager (Pers-V)
Secretary (Railways) Bharat Pensioners Samaj