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Video: Patient at Shimla’s Covid-Care Facility Complains of Mismanagement, Spending from Pocket for Medicines

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Shimla-With visible stress on Himachal Pradesh’s health system, like the rest of the nation, complaints regarding medical mismanagement are surfacing. Delay in reports of RT-PCR results is a common grievance. However, on May 10, a family alleged that their kin died as 108 ambulance ran out of oxygen while it was on the way to the hospital. In another case, a woman referred from Kinnaur allegedly died due to delay of five hours in admission to the DDU hospital in Shimla.

A Covid-19 patient admitted to the dedicated Covid care facility in Ayurvedic Hospital, Chhota Shimla, complained that the staff was not co-operative and that doctors did not monitor him frequently.

Sanjay Shah, a resident of Bihar, alleged that he had tested positive on April 24, 2021, at the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla. He was then referred to DDU Covid-care hospital where he was admitted for 11 days after which he was discharged and referred to the Ayurvedic Covid-care hospital. With the help of a fellow patient, he recorded a video explaining his problem and shared it with Himachal Watcher.

Sanjay alleges that he was being asked to arrange for expensive medicine from private medical stores. An acquaintance of Sanjay then had to borrow money and arrange the prescribed medicines. “They conducted a medical check-up and asked me to arrange some medicine, which cost me nearly Rs. 4000,” Sanjay said.

covid 19 complaints from himachal pradesh

Bill of medicines that the patient had to buy from private medical store

“I am tired. It’s been 17 days,” he said.

Sanjay also complained that doctors rarely visit him for checkups. While using the toilet, Sanjay carries his IV stand along with him, which he said is very cumbersome. He said all he wants is that doctors visit him daily and that he should be informed properly about the treatment and the use of medicines for which he had to pay by seeking financial help from his acquaintances

When inquired regarding this complaint, the Medical Superintendent of Ayurvedic hospital, told Himachal Watcher that Shah was being administered with antibiotics through IV, but now he is on oral doses.

Regarding the complaint about the availability of doctors and regular check-ups, the MS said that this hospital is more of a step-down facility for Covid-19 patients, and consultations regarding the cases are undertaken from a panel of specialists at the IGMC Shimla through a WhatsApp group. If required, the patients are referred to DDU or IGMC, he said. On being asked about the medicines Sanjay was asked to arrange, the MS said that the IGMC panel sometimes prescribes medicines that are not available in both the hospitals. Under such circumstances, the patient is asked to buy such medicines from private medical stores.

When MS was asked how Sanjay should arrange for his medicine from outside the hospital, he had no clear answer. Responding to Sanjay’s complaint regarding the inconsistent visit of doctors, the MS said that the entire medical staff wears PPE kits, which makes it hard for patients to differentiate between doctors and other healthcare workers who visit the ward.

The MS of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital told Himachal Watcher that currently there are a total of 21 patients at their facility while the hospital staff is working around the clock in three shifts. In each shift, the hospital has appointed at least one doctor, a pharmacist, a nurse, and two Class IV employees. The Medical Superintendent also said that recently a pharmacist had created a scene as he refused to enter the ward, after which the hospital did take action against him.

In another case of medical mismanagement in the state capital, a resident of Chhota Shimla had alleged that his mother was denied admission to the facility despite her condition being critical due to low oxygen saturation. The son then had to make arrangements for oxygen support at his residence with the help of an NGO.

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101 Leprosy Cases Detected in Himachal During the Last One Year  

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Shimla-A Spokesperson of the Himachal Pradesh Government today informed that under the National Health Mission, National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is being implemented for the patients suffering from Leprosy. It aims to eliminate leprosy from every district of the Nation by 2030. He informed that the State of Himachal Pradesh has already eliminated leprosy by achieving the prevalence rate of less than 1 per 10,000 population in the year 2000.

The Government Spokesperson informed that the total number of new leprosy cases as detected from 1st April 2021 to 31st January 2022 is 101.

A maximum number of 29 cases were reported from the district Solan, followed by 18 from district Shimla, 12 from district Kangra, 9 from district Chamba, 8 from district Una. The 7 new cases of leprosy were detected in district Bilaspur, 6 in district Mandi, 5 in district Sirmaur, 4 in district Hamirpur and 3 in district Kinnaur. He added that no cases of leprosy were detected in district Kullu and Lahaul & Spiti.

The Government Spokesperson told that active case detection and regular surveillance activity is being conducted by ASHA workers in the villages where leprosy cases have been detected in the last 3 years. This is to ensure the detection of leprosy cases at an early stage to prevent any further disabilities.

He said that the ASHA workers are provided with an incentive for detecting new leprosy cases with or without disability (Rs. 250 and Rs. 200 per case). He added that the contacts of leprosy patients are also traced and provided free treatment post-exposure with a single dose of Rifampicin to prevent further transmission in the community.

The Government Spokesperson further added that the treatment of leprosy is being provided free of cost and available at all Primary Health Centres. The microcellular rubber (MCR) footwear are provided to leprosy patients twice a year. He said to ensure complete treatment of leprosy patients, ASHA workers are incentivized.

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HP Cabinet Decisions: All Educational Institutes to Open from Feb 17th, Several Covid Restrictions Lifted, Read Other Decisions  

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on February 14, 2022, held a meeting.

The State Cabinet decided to open all the educational institutions in the State from 17th February 2022. It also decided that all gyms and cinema halls would be opened and all kinds of langars would be allowed.

The Cabinet decided to grant revised pension/ family pension to about 1.73 lakh pensioners/family pensioners of the State from 1st February 2022. 

The State government said this decision would ensure the revision of pension/family pension of 1.30 lakh pensioners/family pensioners from 1st January 2016. About 43,000 employees, who have retired between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2021 would also get revised pension and gratuity.

Now minimum pension/ family pension would increase from Rs. 3500 per month to Rs. 9000 per month from 1st January 2016, the HP government said. The limit of gratuity has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh from 1st January 2016 which would also be applicable for NPS employees.

Pensioners/family pensioners of the State above 80 years would be provided due additional pension benefit on revised pension/family pension. The Cabinet also decided to provide Invalid Pension and Family Pension to NPS employees of the State Government on which Rs. 250 crores would be spent.

The Cabinet also decided to provide 31 percent dearness relief to the pensioners from 1st July 2021. An annual additional expenditure of Rs. 1785 crore would be incurred on account of the revision of pension. The State Government said it had already provided Rs. 1450.44 crore to the pensioners as interim relief.

The Cabinet gave its approval for the creation and filling up of 8 posts of Sub Fire Officers in the Himachal Pradesh Fire Services Department on a contract basis through Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission.

 It also gave its approval to open three new Sub Fire Stations at Dheera in Kangra district, Bhatiyat in Chamba district and at Rewalsar in Mandi district and three new Fire Posts at Chirgaon in Shimla, Bhoranj in Hamirpur district and South Portal of Atal Tunnel Rohtang.

 It also gave its nod for creating and filling up of one post of Sub Fire Officer, 2 posts of Leading Fireman, 14 posts of Firemen, and six posts of driver-cum pump operator in each newly created Sub Fire Station and one post of leading fireman 

It also gave nod to fill up 12 posts of firemen and four posts of driver cum pump operator in each newly opened Fire Post

The Cabinet gave its nod to the draft of the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and M/s NABARD Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. for the hiring of Single Resource Consultancy to establish Project Management Unit.

The purpose, the government said, was the implementation of the new centrally sponsored scheme ‘Financing Facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.  

The government said this scheme would help the farming community as interest subvention and credit guarantee would be given for the post-harvest infrastructure and building of community farming assets like e-market platforms, warehouses, silos, pack houses, cold chains etc

It decided to notify Sardar Patel University Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2022 from 1st April 2022 to set up a new State University at Mandi.

It also decided to open Degree College Ghandalwi in Bilaspur district.

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HP Statehood Day 2022: Relaxation in Electricity Charges, Third Option in New Pay scale, Higher Pay scale to Constables and other Announcements

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government, on the 52nd Statehood Day, has made several announcements. It announced 31 percent DA to employees, relaxation on electricity charges up to 60 units, enhancement of annual income for availing benefit of pensions and welfare schemes.

Benefits of higher scales would be provided immediately to all those constables who were eligible for higher scales. All the constables appointed after 2015 would be eligible for higher scale as per other categories of employees, the government announced.

The State Government announced that now while implementing the new pay scale, the employees would be given a third option besides two options already given to them. The State has recently implemented new pay scales for employees of the State Government. The state government said it felt that few disparities existed in the new pay scales of few categories.

Pensioners of the State Government would also be given pension as per the new pay scales of the Punjab government, the government announced.

The government also announced 31 per cent DA to all the employees of the State at par with the Central Government employees. Also, an increase in annual income for availing the benefits of various welfare schemes and pensions for the weaker sections of the society from existing Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 was announced.

Now, the domestic consumers of the state whose electricity consumption is up to 60 units per month would not be charged any fee per electricity unit.  They would be incurred zero cost per unit of electricity consumed. With this decision, domestic consumers whose electricity consumption is up to 125 units, would be charged only one rupee per unit cost.  Over 11 lakh domestic consumers would be benefitted from this decision and the State government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 60 crore on providing this relief, the government informed.

For the farmers in the state, the government announced to reduce the present per unit cost of electricity from 50 paise to 30 paise.  This benefit will be payable from April 2022.

Further, the HP Government said that in the year 1971, the per capita income of the state was only Rs 651 which has increased to Rs. 1,83,286, the GDP of the State has gone up from Rs 223 crore in 1971 to Rs 1,56,522 crore. The literacy rate of the State has gone up to 82.80 percent which was 23 percent in 1971. The agricultural production in the state has increased from 954 metric tons to 1500 metric tons and food grain production in 1971 was 9.40 lakh MT which has increased to 16.74 lakh MT, the state government said.

The state-level function of 52nd Statehood Day was celebrated at historic Thodo ground in Solan, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the Tricolor and took salute from the contingents of Police, IRB Jungalberi, Home Guards and, NCC girls etc.

The parade was commanded by DSP Pranav Chauhan.

The Chief Minister also honoured three war widows of Solan District including Dil Kumari Thapa, Savitri Devi and Nirmala Devi on this occasion. Head constable Sandeep Chandel was also felicitated by the Chief Minister who has been awarded Prime Ministers Police Medal for life-saving for the year 2018.  

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