With temp docs and dummy patients, NMC gives go ahead for five new GMERS colleges

Ahmedabad Mirror | 6 days ago | 05-08-2022 | 06:00 am

With temp docs and dummy patients, NMC gives go ahead for five new GMERS colleges

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has granted Letters of Permission (LoP) to start five new medical colleges under Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS). The NMC gave approval to the medical colleges and hospitals (MCHs) in Godhra and Porbandar on August 1 and to those in Morbi, Navsari and Rajpipla on August 4.None of these five new MCHs have recruited their own Class-I doctors-cum-medical teachers as yet and all 272 doctors currently posted there were transferred from the eight existing MCHs.A senior health department official said, “GMERS recruitment should have been carried out earlier if admission intake was to start in 2022-23. More so since these new colleges were to be started last year itself. Now several doctors have faced transfers due to the state government’s dismal planning.”Virtual inspectionTo keep the cycle of medical college approval running even during the Covid-19 pandemic when inspectors/assessors were not able to travel to other states for physical inspections, virtual inspections were begun. However, even after the Covid pandemic appears to have waned, virtual inspections continue.The NMC conducted a virtual exam inspection at GMERS Sola MCH on July 29 and 30. So, a physical headcount of all the medical teachers serving at Sola could not be carried out, said doctors.However, in the middle of an inspection on July 29, CEO Dr Bipin Nayak transferred 24 medical teachers and 5 tutors from Sola MCH to two of the new medical colleges. However, with the inspections on, the transfers were implemented on July 30.Sources have now confirmed to Mirror that since it was an exam inspection, they did not have to submit their B-Form listing all their medical teachers. They had in September 2021 submitted an affidavit showing their faculty strength. This meant that GMERS could transfer out doctors from Sola MCH in 2022, without any problems. Dean Dr Nitin Vora was unavailable for comment.Meanwhile, Dr Ashish Shah, in-charge Dean of Rajpipla MCH confirmed that the NMC inspection was held virtually. However, he declined to comment on whether the college had to submit its B-Form.Asked about the methods used to obtain NMC approvals for the five new medical colleges, Manoj Agarwal, additional chief secretary (ACS), Health, said, “We have been very transparent with the NMC and have informed them that doctors have been transferred temporarily, while the ad hoc recruitment is underway.”When asked about the trend of less than half of appointees joining GMERS after each recruitment drive, the ACS said, “That may be true for the past, but this time we are going for three-year ad hoc recruitment with the chance of permanent job with a GPSC-equivalent exam that will be taken in the near future. We hope for a good number of appointments this year.”Further, the permissions from NMC came on the same day that videos alleging the presence of dummy patients at GMERS Rajpipla MCH in the form of female nursing students came to light on Friday. When asked about the videos, ACS Agarwal said, “We are still investigating the matter. There was no reason for dummy patients to be there in the hospital. I can say more only after we get more details. I have sought a report from the Medical Superintendent.”GMERS colleges termed as govt collegesNotably, the LoP approvals for all five MCHs say that they are Government Medical Colleges (GMCs). This is patently false. All five new colleges are under the aegis of GMERS and admission fees for MBBS students is Rs 3.5 lakh per year.

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Hester Biosciences Ltd reports Net Profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenues from Operations of Rs. 50.7 crore in Q1FY23
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 07:02 pm
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August 10: One of India’s leading poultry and animal vaccine manufacturing companies, Hester Biosciences Limited, has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenue from Operations of Rs. 50.70 crores for the Q1FY23. Individually, the gross margins of the vaccines and the health products have been in line with the corresponding quarter; however, the overall margins have reduced due to the increase in the proportion of health products sales which have lower gross margins compared to vaccines. Health Products sales constituted 34% of the total sales in Q1 FY23, versus 20% in Q1 FY22.Hester Tanzania recently received regulatory approvals for four products, with two additional products under approval. Hester Tanzania has just started commercial operations, and Revenues are expected to start in Q2. Hester Nepal has registered a 16% growth in domestic revenues; however, there were no tender sales in the current quarter due to delays in tendering by FAO and other multilateral institutions.Going furtherThe company is confident of arresting the de growth in Q2 as well as hopes to improve the profitability as follows:On the vaccine side:The recent outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in certain parts of the country since July 2022 is expected to result in additional sales in Q2 FY23.The Company was a successful bidder in a government tender for PPR vaccine for sheep & goats, the supplies for which will likely start from September 2022.On the Health Product side:It is our endeavour to improve the profitability. Over the next couple of quarters, Hester will focus on growing sales on the back of improving the sales productivity of the marketing team as well as launching new products and entering new territories.Petcare divisionThe Company launched a new division for Petcare during Q1 with ten products. Activities related to market development, field force establishment and product pipeline are ongoing. Petcare Division will emerge as a steady long-term growth driver, given the increasing adoption of pets in the country.Status on Hester’s initiatives in the Covid-19 vaccineThe Company, in consortium with Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), Government of Gujarat (GoG), has entered into a term sheet agreement with Bharat Biotech India Limited to manufacture the Drug Substance for Covaxinunder the Mission Covid Suraksha Scheme of the Government of India.The project is to manufacture a Drug Substance equivalent to up to 7 million doses per month.The construction of the BSL-3 facility is nearing mechanical completion. Planning and preparation for commissioning are ongoing. The facility is expected to be ready for commercial operation in Q3FY23.This facility is a multi-purpose facility to handle other micro-organisms beyond Covid-19.Other developmentsThe Company is strengthening its new product vaccine pipeline by developing new vaccines like Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Sheep Pox and an improved version of Brucella vaccines.The bulk antigen production capacity expansion project is completed, and trial runs are ongoing. Expansion of Fill-Finish line capacity is expected to be completed by Q4FY23. These two expansions will double the production capacity of vaccines.The recent notification by the Government of India to allow the manufacture and sale of Avian Influenza Inactivated vaccine, the H9N2 strain, will contribute to our sales from Q3.

Hester Biosciences Ltd reports Net Profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenues from Operations of Rs. 50.7 crore in Q1FY23
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Times of India | 1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 07:55 am
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‘Lack of RTPCR report no ground to reject claim’
Rakhi sales at all-time high, beat pre-Covid sale
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 06:00 am
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1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 06:00 am

The onset of the festive season this year, with Rakshabandhan on Thursday, has brought cheer to rakhi traders after washout Covid years of 2020 and 2021.President of Ahmedabad Cutlery and General Merchant (ACGM) Association Laxman Aswani said, “The rakhi business is part of our association and this year the sales have crossed the Rs 300 crore mark. Compared to 2019, sales had fallen by 50% in 2020 and 2021.”He further said, “Witnessing the high demand, many retail shops that never stocked rakhi are also selling it this year.”In another major development, manufacturing of rakhis has increased in Ahmedabad while import of rakhis from China has stopped, said retailers and manufacturers.Khema Nanda, one of the biggest rakhi traders in Sarangpur area, said, “This year we are registering brisk sales as people are emerging from fear of Covid. People want to indulge in festivities after a two-year Covid break.”Talking about festive cheer despite inflation and higher prices of rakhi this year, ACGM association’s vice president Amit Desai told Mirror, “The retail shops that usually sell gifts and cutlery have taken to selling rakhi in a big way. The outlets selling rakhis have doubled this year.”He added, “There would be more than 10,000 shops in Ahmedabad that are selling rakhis this year. Moreover, the sales figure is also high because traders are supplying rakhis to about 15-odd states in India.”Kolkata dominated the production of rakhis and continues to hold the top spot but Ahmedabad is fast catching up, said manufacturers. In fact, Ahmedabad is emerging as a competitive market.According to rakhi retailers in the city, this year rakhis from Rs 10 to Rs 25,000 are available in Ahmedabad shops. However, the ones from Rs 50 to Rs 150 are selling the most.Amit Patel, owner of Anand Rakhi Bazar in the Science City area, said, “We have been selling rakhis from Rs 10 to Rs 6,000 at our three outlets in the western part of the city. However, demand for Rs 50 to Rs 150 rakhis is the most. This year prices of rakhis have increased by 25% due to higher input cost and general rise in inflation.”

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