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HEALTH | Huewire | Opnion News | Forum |Diversity In America - Part 493

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Fortis Healthcare shares soar 24% on merger buzz

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Fortis Healthcare shares soar 24% on merger buzzShares of Fortis Healthcare jumped 24.5 per cent today amid reports that Manipal hospital, backed by TPG, is in advanced talks to merge the company with itself.

The stock erased its early losses and soared 24.54 per cent to Rs 157.05 on BSE during the afternoon trade.

At NSE, shares of the company zoomed 24.31 per cent to Rs 156.70.

BSE has sought clarification from Fortis Healthcare with reference to reports that Manipal hospital is in advanced talks to merge Fortis Health with itself.

Fortis Healthcare promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh have resigned as directors from the company’s board following the Delhi High Court order upholding the Rs 3,500 crore arbitral award in favour of Daiichi Sankyo.

The Singh brothers have jointly tendered their resignation to the Board of Fortis Healthcare, which will discuss it in the meeting on February 13, the company said in a filing to the BSE yesterday.

According to media reports, Deloitte has refused to certify Fortis Q2 results as Singh brothers have said to have taken out $78 million from the firm. BSE has sought clarification from Fortis Healthcare in this regard.

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Vaping May Increase Pneumonia Risk: Study

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Vaping may help pneumonia-causing bacteria stick to cells lining the airways, likely boosting disease risk, researchers said Thursday.

A study published in the European Respiratory Journal did not directly compare vaping’s effect to that of smoking tobacco cigarettes.

But the findings did suggest that users of electronic cigarettes may be at higher risk of lung infection than people who do not vape, the research team reported.

“If you choose to take up e-cigarettes… this indicates a red flag that there may be an increased susceptibility” to pneumococcal bacteria, study co-author Jonathan Grigg of the Queen Mary University of London told AFP.

Grigg and a team conducted three types of experiment. One exposed human nose lining cells to e-cigarette vapour in the lab, another involved mice inhaling vapour and then being exposed to pneumococcal bacteria, the main cause of pneumonia.

A third trial studied the nose lining of 11 e-cigarette users compared to six non-vapers.

The team noticed a sharp increase in the amount of bacteria sticking to airway cells after e-cigarette exposure. Such adhesion has previously been shown to increase susceptibility to disease.

“Some people may be vaping because they think it is totally safe, or in an attempt to quit smoking, but this study adds to growing evidence that inhaling vapour has the potential to cause adverse health effects,” said Grigg.

“By contrast, other aids to quitting such as (nicotine) patches or gum do not result in airway cells being exposed to high concentrations of potentially toxic compounds.”

Last month, a US study said vaping may increase cancer risk because it leads to DNA damage, despite containing fewer carcinogens than tobacco smoke.

That study, too, did not compare the effects of cigarette smoking directly to vaping.

Research in the journal Tobacco Control last October said a large-scale switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes would prevent millions of premature deaths by the year 2100, even assuming the gadgets are themselves not risk-free.

E-cigarettes, said to contain no tar and fewer toxins than tobacco cigarettes, were developed as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking.

But many people fear that a harmless veneer may make e-cigarettes a “gateway” for young people to lifelong nicotine addiction.

Commenting on the latest study, Peter Openshaw, an experimental medicine professor at Imperial College London, said any evidence that vaping raised lung infection risk was “only indirect”.

“Although it is possible that vaping might increase susceptibility to pneumonia, the effect is likely to be lower than from smoking itself,” he said via the Science Media Centre.

“This study should not be used as a reason to continue to smoke rather than vape — the evidence to date is that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking.”

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Delhi state government takes a step forward for rare diseases

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Delhi state government takes a step forward for rare diseases

New Delhi: As an important step towards expediting the process of providing treatment to rare disease patients, the Delhi state government, in the High Court, has proposed the setting up of a Technical cum Administrative Committee for rare diseases.

It will also set up a state corpus for the treatment of rare disorders. The government of India has allocated Rs. 100 crore corpus for these disorders under the national policy for rare diseases and would contribute funds towards the states in the ratio of 60:40.

One of the significant mandates of the committee include identification and accreditation of institutions which will carry out the diagnosis and treatment of rare conditions. Moreover, there will also be a Rare Disease Board and will review the patient applications and handle other technical details.

The same would then be forwarded to the state technical committee which will accordingly decide upon the funding of a particular patient. The applications which the state board will review would be submitted at a website which is being created by the central government as a part of the national policy.

Commenting on the development, Social Jurist Advocate Ashok Agarwal said, “This is a very encouraging step by the state government for ensuring that the patients receive timely treatment. What would now be done is that patients’ applications would now be processed by the state level technical committee and would then be sent to the central technical committee. This way, the process would be streamlined and will result in providing the patients treatment without further loss of time.”

The committee would include senior doctors from renowned institutions like AIIMS and MAMC and will be chaired by Principal Secretary (Health). With respect to the amount required for the initial corpus, the representatives from AIIMS and MAMC would provide an estimate on the basis of the current load of rare disease patients at the respective institutions.

The High Court has directed that the committee and rare disease board meet once every three months.

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Russian athletes lose appeal against Olympics ban

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Sports’ highest court rejected appeals by all 45 Russian athletes plus two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced Friday less than nine hours before the opening ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee had refused to invite the group of Russians, saying it had evidence of alleged doping in Russian sports.

After two days of hearings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IOC has the right to set its own standards for who is eligible.

CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, reading from a statement and declining to take questions, said the IOC process “could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision.”

“The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions   the Invitation Review Panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group   independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner. The Panel also concluded that there was no evidence the (commissions) improperly exercised their discretion.”

The IOC issued a statement saying: “We welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes.”

A vetting process was designed to exclude Russian athletes from the games if IOC officials weren’t sure they were clean, even if they hadn’t been banned for doping.

Following that, the IOC invited 168 Russians to participate as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag in a decision designed to balance the rights of individual athletes with the need for a strong deterrent to doping.

The CAS ruling is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances in Pyeongchang.

Among those excluded are six-time gold medalist Viktor Ahn, the short track speedskater whose return to his native South Korea for the Olympics had been hotly anticipated by local fans.

Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge and bobsled.

Three former NHL players   Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin   also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they’d have played even if they’d been successful, since the Russian roster is already full.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the decision was a “a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark and sordid affair.”

“You hope justice has been served but how some of these athletes can keep dirty medals from Sochi but be excluded now is hard to reconcile,” Tygart said. “And why the IOC rushed the process on the Sochi medal decisions is unexplainable and a tragedy for clean athletes.”

The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS.

As well as the 45 athletes, the ruling covers a luge coach and a skeleton coach.

The IOC has refused to comment on individual Russian athletes but says it decided who to exclude using a newly obtained Moscow laboratory database with evidence of past doping offenses.

It refused to invite some Russians even after their disqualifications from the 2014 Olympics were lifted by CAS last week.

Stephen Hess, an international sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC.

“There is no absolute right to get an invitation from the IOC to come to the Olympics,” Hess said in a telephone interview. “That was within the IOC’s discretion, and they didn’t exercise it arbitrarily. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: ‘IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team. You can’t keep them out.’ But Russian doesn’t have an Olympic team.

“Even though CAS earlier decided there was insufficient evidence to sanction individual Russian athletes, nonetheless it decided that since the Russian Olympic Committee had been barred from sending a team, the IOC had discretion as to what athletes it would let into the Games.”

The IOC pointed to a CAS statement that declared the Russians were not necessarily innocent of doping, just that the evidence was insufficient to ban them. Also, the IOC said, “there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered” in last week’s CAS case “that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes.”

U.S. athletes praised the decision and the end to uncertainty of participation of some Russian athletes.

“That is great news,” said U.S. women’s skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics   one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban. U.S. bobsledder Nick Cunningham said he’s tried to not focus on the will-they-or-won’t-they drama surrounding the Russians.

“It’s not going to change what happens to me in the next two weeks,” Cunningham said. “If dirty athletes are taken out, then clean athletes will prevail. That’s what I hope.”


Date created : 2018-02-09

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All 11 idle trauma care units to be merged with district hospitals

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All 11 idle trauma care units to be merged with district hospitalsDEHRADUN: All the 11 trauma care units (TCUs) — which have become redundant due to lack of doctors — located in seven districts of Uttarakhand will now be merged with nearby district hospitals. The move will boost health care as these hospitals will now get additional infrastructure of the TCUs.

In the wake of rising number of pilgrims taking the Char Dham Yatra, more tourist footfall, increasing incidents of natural calamities and human-wildlife conflict, the health department, with the support of the Centre’s national health mission, constructed these TCUs, but these remained idle due to lack of doctors.

Initially, the trauma centres, which are located close to district hospitals or are situated within 100 m distance, will be merged. There are three trauma centres in Dehradun district (one each in Rishikesh, Vikasnagar and Dehradun). Chamoli and Almora have two trauma centres each while Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarkashi, Bageshwar and Haridwar have one each.

One of the reasons behind the failure in running these TCUs is the guideline that there should be at least 11 experts in each centre to cater to the needs of patients. According to experts, it is mandatory to have at least a neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon and anaesthetists in each TCU. But scarcity of such experts have pushed the health department to close this centres.

Speaking to the media, director of health and family welfare department, Dr Archana Srivastava, said, “Most of the TCUs are lying unused or their infrastructure is not being utilised fully. We have now decided to use all available resources for providing health care to the public by merging these TCUs with district hospitals, as those assets also belong to the health department.”

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