Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Current Affairs - 2020

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171 Hospitals de-empanelled under Ayushman Bharat Scheme

On January 3, 2020, around 171 hospitals were de-empanelled by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for committing fraud. The Ministry had also imposed a fine of Rs 4.5 crores. The FIRs were lodged on 6 hospitals in Uttarakhand and Jharkhand states.

Highlights

The Anti-Fraud units detected fake e-cards and lodged FIRs in the corresponding states. It is the responsibility of the sate health agency to create an e-card and add additional family member under the scheme if any. The Anti-Fraud Unit detected that the private hospitals were fraudulently performing these government reserved procedures.

Earlier similar cases were detected by the unit in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and penalties were imposed.

Anti-Fraud Units

The Anti-Fraud Units operate under the guidelines provided by National Health Agency operating under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

National Health Agency

The National Health Agencies were set up in order to implement India’s flagship scheme “Ayushman Bharat”. The National Health Authority is the successor of National Health Agency.

Ayushman Bharat

The scheme aims at covering 10 crore poor families providing health coverage of 5 lakh rupees per family. The scheme is recently being criticized widely for the increased fraudulent activities by private hospitals. At least 697 fake cases have been registered in Uttarakhand alone. However, the scheme unlike its previous scheme Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana uses robust IT infrastructure to locate suspicious surges.

Afghanistan becomes first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has become the first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) pursuant to the efforts of Department of Commerce and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The formal recognistion came from Afghanistan’s National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of Ministry of Public Health.

It will also be used based on requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in laboratory of medicines and health products quality. With this, a new beginning has been made and Afghanistan has become the first country to recognize IP pursuant to the efforts of Department of Commerce and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

What is Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP)?

It is an officially recognized book of standards as per Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder. IP specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their identity, strength and purity. The 2nd Schedule of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, designates IP as an official book of standards for drugs imported and manufactured for sale, stock and exhibition for sale and distribution in India. The standards prescribed in IP are authoritative in nature and are enforced by regulatory authorities for quality control of medicines in India.

The quality, efficacy and safety of the medicines are important from healthcare perspective. In order to ensure the quality, efficacy and safety of medicinal products, the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) provides the legal and scientific standards in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).

IPC’s Mission: To promote public and animal health in India by bringing out officially and authoritative accepted standards for quality of drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), excipients and dosage forms, used by patients, health professionals and consumers. This is achieved by developing standards for medicines and supporting their implementation. In addition to this, IPC also develops IP Reference Substances (IPRS) that act as fingerprint for identification of an article under test as well as its purity as prescribed in IP monographs.