Maharashtra resident doctors resume work

Resident doctors in Maharashtra called of their strike protesting recent incidents of violence against doctors and returned to work late Friday evening. More than 4,500 resident doctors had gone on mass leave after a series of assaults on resident doctors, mostly by relatives of patients who were ill or died in hospital, across the state. Health services in public hospitals were affected during the five-day protest. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis issued an ultimatum to the doctors on Friday, asking them to resume duties or face legal action.

A spokesperson for the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, which was involved in negotiations with the state government, said that the doctors on strike wanted to see protection measures being implemented before they returned to work.

Many public hospitals have organised increased police presence and a pass system for family members of patients so that only a limited number of people are allowed on hospital premises. A committee has been formed to conduct a security audit of all medical colleges and hospitals. The government has also assured doctors of implementing alarm systems, tri-monthly security reports at every government hospital, constitution of a security panel comprising of resident doctors at every hospital and empowering police posts in hospitals to record FIRs in medico-legal cases.

Examine MBBS ban of colour-blind people for MBBS: SC

The Supreme Court is considering a plea on permitting colour-blind students in MBBS courses on the basis that the existing practice of disallowing them to study medicine and surgery is regressive.

The court observed that students with colour blindness were allowed to study medical courses in many other countries and that rules should allow such students to pursue courses where colour blindness might not be a handicap. A two-judge bench appointed an expert committee of senior doctors to ascertain in what courses these might be. The court also directed the Medical Council of India to constitute a committee of experts to examine the issue and submit its report in three months.

The court passed the order on a plea of two medical students who were denied admission in 2015 because they have partial colour blindness.

European regulator questions Chennai lab data

The European Medicines Agency, which regulates drugs in the European Union has recommended the suspension of 300 generic medicines that have been tested at the Micro Therapeutic Research Labs in Chennai. The lab conducted bio-equivalence studies on these drugs, on the basis of which generic drugs are approved.

The European agency cited unreliability of data for its recommendation. However, the agency maintained that that there was no evidence of harm of lack of effectiveness of the medicines. It has also recommended that medicines that are being evaluated on the basis of studies at the Chennai lab not be authorised till their bio-equivalence is validated with alternative data.

Obamacare stays

In the United States, President Donald Trump failed to deliver on his promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare that former President Barack Obama signed into law seven years ago. In a major defeat to Trump and the Republicans, party leaders pulled legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act from consideration on the House. Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan decided to withdraw the bill after a revolt from within the Republican party that ensured they would not have enough votes.