In the news: Maneka Gandhi wants doctors conducting unnecessary C-sections to be exposed, and more

A wrap of the week's health headlines.

Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said last week that she had written to Union Health Minister JP Nadda asking for it to made mandatory for hospitals to publicly display the number of cesarean
section surgeries they have carried out.

A petition started by Mumbai-based Subarna Ghosh on the issue had been signed by more than 1.3 lakh people by Sunday evening.

Gandhi tweeted on Wednesday that the percentage of C-section surgeries in some states is much higher than the 10%-15% reccomended by the World Health Organisation. For instance, as per the National Family Health Survey 2015-’16, the percentage of C-sections in Telangana was is 58%, while in Tamil Nadu it was 34%.

“The situation is much worse in private hospitals, which is a matter of grave concern,” she tweeted.

Gandhi then told reporters that gynaecologists who conduct C-section deliveries “for no reason at all except money” should be named and shamed, reported The Times of India.

The Indian Medical Association said that the statement is misleading and that “no doctor will conduct if not indicated”. The statement said that higher rates of C-sections were likely in secondary and tertiary-level hospitals in some cities because they are referral hospitals.

Dr KK Aggarwal, the National President of Indian Medical Association added that the doctors are accountable to India and state Medical Councils.

He mentioned that C-section rates are going up all over the world. US, Germany, and Italy have between 30%-40% rates of C-section, Aggarwal said.

Expensive freebies by pharma firms may be banned

The government is considering a blanket ban on pharmaceutical firms giving doctors and chemists expensive freebies such as paid vacations and will restrict the value of the gifts to Rs 1,000, The Times of India reported.

The department of pharmaceuticals is in the final stages of executive order making the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices mandatory for drug manufacturing industry, the report said. Currently, the Code is voluntary and the industry is expected to regulate itself by adopting it.

The penalty for violating the code could include warnings about cancelling licences, the report said. The Code also proposes the formation of an ethics committee to investigate violations.

West Bengal to regulate private hospitals

Last week, the West Bengal state government announced the establishment of the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission to curb unethical money-making practices of private hospitals and nursing homes and to redress complaints of medical negligence, Catch News reported.

The Bill will be introduced in the state assembly on March 3, the report said.

The commission will have 10 members, including a retired judge, government representative, doctors and consumer activists.

Nearly 7.5% of Indians suffer from mental disorders: WHO

According to the latest World Health Organisation report, nearly 7.5% of Indians suffer from mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders that need expert intervention, The Times of India reported.

The report said that about 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.

Depressive disorders are characterised by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, among other symptoms. Anxiety disorders refer to a group of disorders characterised by feelings of anxiety and fear.

In October, a mental health survey conducted by the Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences said that the incidence of depression is about 5% of the population.

India has only 4,000 psychiatrists to treat its mentally ill people, the report said.

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Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.