Patients at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences who do not have an Aadhaar number will have to pay Rs 100, which is 10 times the current registration fee, a hospital official told the Press Trust of India. Those who have registered for the national Aadhaar biometrically-verified identify scheme will have the registration fee waived, the official said.

This move will be enforced in January, the news report said. It is aimed at encouraging digital transactions and streamlining the database of patients, said Dr Deepak Agrawal, chairman, computerisation, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. It is also meant to address the problem of patients often misplacing hospital documents.

At present, a patient has to pay Rs 10 for registration following which the hospital issues her with a Unique Health Identification number.

The premier medical facility has also written to the Union Health Ministry requesting a notification that would mandate the linking of a patient’s Aadhaar number with the Unique Health Identification number issued by the institute.

This would make health records portable so that they could be easily accessed by other hospitals, said Dr Agrawal.

AIIMS is also planning to introduce a prepaid card scheme for cashless treatment and will procure point of sale machines and kiosks for net-banking facilities.

UN General Assembly high-level meeting on tuberculosis in 2018

The United Nations General Assembly will hold its first-ever high-level meeting on combating tuberculosis in 2018.

The 2016 Global Tuberculosis Report, which significantly revised the global burden of tuberculosis, said that there are an estimated 10.4 million new cases of the infectious bacterial disease. The revision was made after taking into account the nearly 4.3 million gap in incidents of the disease that are not notified to national authorities globally. The report also significantly updates the number of new tuberculosis cases in a year, from 1.7 million as reported to the national health authorities, to 2.8 million in 2015, a jump of 59%.

After the 47th World Lung Conference in Liverpool in October that followed the release of the report, World Health Organisation officials said that there was a lack of political commitment to fight the disease, especially in high-burden countries such as India. The WHO then called for a UN General Assembly session on tuberculosis, the Hindu reported.

Mario Raviglione, director of the Global Tuberculosis Programme at the WHO had told the Hindu that they were not happy just talking to ministers of health, as these ministers had limited power.

So far, only four UN General Assembly high-level meetings have taken place on issues related to health. Those include meetings on HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, Ebola, and antimicrobial resistance, the last of which took place in September.

In November 2017, there will be a World Health Organisation Global Ministerial Conference on the fight against tuberculosis in the context of Sustainable Development Goals that will be hosted in Moscow, Russia.

Maharashtra to junk old sexist guidelines for examining sexual assault victims

Four years after the Central Government issued revised guidelines with regard to examining cases of sexual assault, most medical colleges in the country are yet to adopt the new guidelines in their syllabi.

On Tuesday, the Maharashtra University of Medical Sciences agreed to replace the old formats of forensic medical examination in cases of sexual assault in its syllabus. The old proforma had the violative and unscientific two-finger test that was used to determine if the woman was accustomed to sexual intercourse, something that experts say has nothing to do with sexual assault. It will most likely be adopted in textbooks for the next academic year.

Earlier this year, the publishers of Modi: A Textbook of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, a go-to textbook for forensic medicine students said that it would remove the guideline for doing the two-finger test for establishing rape in the textbook.

Dr Indrajit Khandekar, professor of Forensic Medicine at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, had taken up the implementation of the new proforma with the university, and got a reply from the university office that it had decided to implement the new guidelines.

“If we teach the students with the old formats and ask them to use new formats during actual examination of rape case then the doctors will not be able to handle medico-legal aspects of sexual assault cases effectively,” said Khandekar.

Why are prices not fixed for coronary stents, asks Delhi High Court

In response to a public interest litigation, the Delhi High Court asked the Centre to explain why it had not fixed the maximum retail price for coronary stents.

The stents help unclog blocks in the arteries of the heart, and is a life-saving device. Coronary stents were included in the National Essential List of Medicines issued in July.

“What do you have to say with regard to fixation of minimum retail price of coronary stents?” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said, the Press Trust of India reported.

The bench asked the Centre to file its response by December 22, the next date of hearing.