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Union Budget 2023: What’s in it for the healthcare sector?

Budget reactions from the healthcare sector
Budget reactions from the healthcare sector

The Union Budget 2023-24 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2023. The government has described this budget as the first of “Amrit Kaal”, which pave the way for India to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a developed country in the next 25 years.

The Government has announced that it will support the development of dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions. The courses will be developed by the National Technical Institute for the Management of Health (NTIMH) under the Ministry of Health. The program is expected to train around 1,600 students annually, who would be employed as junior staff at hospitals, clinics and other health facilities. The Minister also announced that 157 new nursing colleges will be established in core locations with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014.

The government has allocated Rs 2,934 crore for AYUSH Ministry in 2023-24. This is an increase of 10 per cent over allocation of Rs 2,686 crore in 2022-23. The government has earmarked Rs 62,000 crore for National Health Mission (NHM), which is an increase of 4 per cent over last year’s allocation of Rs 59,000 crore.

The health sector has been allocated Rs 89,155 crore in Union Budget 2019-20, which is a hike of around 13 per cent over Rs 79,145 crore allocated in 2022-23. This includes an allocation of Rs 622 crore for Ayush Ministry under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Out of this amount, Rs 86,175 crore has been allocated to Department of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), while Rs 2,980 crore to the Department of Health Research.

Here is how the healthcare industry reacted to the budget presented for the year.

Mr. Chushul Suri, Founder & CEO, Medbikri

“So its always good that the centre is looking towards the Healthcare Industry, as it in dire need of investments. More R&D in Pharmaceuticals will leads to us becoming self sufficient and a powerhouse in Pharma Manufacturing, just need to ensure we reduce dependency of APIs as well from other countries. Promotion of AI is also a good inititative as it will lead to our home grown talent solving Indian problems like Health & Agriculture, rather than taking their talents abroad. Overall steps in the right direction!”

Ms. Sandhya J, Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Narayana Health

Despite global headwinds, impending recession, funding winter and moderate pick-up of businesses from Covid-19 impact, it is encouraging to see Indian economy gunning for a 7% growth this year, which is highest amongst the major economies. From healthcare perspective, there were few hits and misses. R&D in healthcare is a critical aspect for future preparedness and encouraging medical research and innovation in pharma is a much-needed move for the larger ecosystem. Dedicated investment towards nursing colleges will help our country fill the gap of nurses per patient ratio as per WHO standards. According to 2019 Data by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India had only 1.7 nurses for every thousand people as compared to three nurses per thousand people requirement. Covid-19 years have increased this gap even more and it is same for doctors and other paramedic staffs. Therefore, dedicated efforts are required to train more medical professional for the growing need of the country. It is also commendable that the Government is looking to eradicate sickle cell disease. Further, increased allocation to National Digital health mission is a step in the right direction.

While R&D got some attention, we expected the budget to increase healthcare expenditure from 1.5% to 2% – 2.5% with dedicated focus towards primary and secondary care. While 157 medical colleges have been established since 2014, we are still have far less doctors than we need and the country needs significant reforms in improving the accessibility and availability of medical education. And finally, we were hoping for some relief on the burden of GST.

Even though, there aren’t any significant measures for the health care segment, in general, we are pleased with the continued focus on growth and resilience for the country. Especially the strong impetus to job creation, opportunities for citizens, especially youth, and empowerment of women. With the G20 Presidency, we are uniquely placed to set a role model for the world economic order and the budget surely hits the right notes.

Dr. Naoya Matsumi, DMD Sakra World Hospital Bengaluru

The “Amrit Kaal” Union Budget 2023 has significantly prioritized on improving the infrastructure of healthcare sector in our country. The Government’s decision to set up 157 nursing colleges in addition to the already existing 157 ones, ramp up facilities in select ICMR Labs for increased R&D, promote new program to encourage collaborative research and innovation in pharmaceuticals will definitely benefit the overall growth of the industry. Launching a dedicated mission to eliminate Sickle Cell Anemia disease by 2047 through awareness creation and universal screening of seven crore people in 0-40 age group in the tribal areas is appreciated and will help in tackling the endemic witnessed amongst the tribal population. However, the Govt. should have also focused on substantial budgetary allocation for preventive and mental health, and metabolic diseases that continues to grapple the younger population, making quality healthcare further accessible in the rural areas to bring down the modern-day healthcare risk factors.  

Mr. Raj Gore, CEO, Healthcare Global Enterprises Limited

We welcome the union budget announced by the Finance Minister. It prioritizes enhancing the nation’s healthcare system and is pro-growth. The decision to establish 157 nursing colleges in addition to the ones that already exist will aid in fulfilling the ever-growing need for nursing care in the country.  Further, improving the R&D capabilities in some ICMR labs, and supporting new initiatives for collaborative research, and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry will undoubtedly aid in the growth of the industry as a whole. Moreover, in terms of improving the skill sets of people in the healthcare sector, we believe that the introduction of dedicated multidisciplinary courses on medical devices will ensure the availability of skilled manpower for advanced and futuristic medical technologies.

However, we believe that the government should have allocated significantly higher budget for healthcare: especially for preventive healthcare, cancer care, infrastructure and making quality healthcare more accessible in rural areas

Mr. Vijay Kyal, Managing Director, Pii Pharma – Pharmaceutical Institute of India Pvt. Ltd

We are pleased to see that the 2023 budget has announced an increase in funding for research in the healthcare sector, including pharmaceuticals, clinical research, and public-private partnerships. The government’s efforts to promote research and development in healthcare is a much-needed step. The establishment of research and innovation centers and the provision of select ICMR labs for use by both public and private medical college faculty and the private sector is commendable. The addition of more nursing colleges will help meet the yearly demand for a sufficient nursing workforce. The inclusion of courses for medical devices will address a major gap in the industry. Overall it’s a well-balanced budget for everyone.

Mr. Girish Arora, Founder & MD – Alniche Lifesciences

“Healthcare sector has been a major focus of the government in recent years, with increasing allocations in the previous budgets. Budget 2023 will provide a roadmap for the government’s plans to improve the overall healthcare system in India. The rise in funding for research and development in the healthcare sector will help research on diseases, as well as for the development of new drugs and treatments. The focus on expanding healthcare services through the implementation of a universal healthcare coverage system will help provide access to affordable and quality healthcare services to all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic status. This year’s budget will improve healthcare infrastructure, strengthen the public healthcare system, promote research and development, expand coverage of healthcare services, and promote the use of technology to improve the overall healthcare system in India. With these initiatives, the healthcare sector will see a positive impact, leading to a healthier and more productive population.”

Mr. Raktim Chattopadhyay, Founder & CEO, Esperer Nutrition Group

The budget 23-24 expressed by Ms Sitaraman is no doubt a sign that the Indian economy is moving towards a bright future. I think the budget has the right balance from education to health to agriculture to rural development, it all as expected like a common man’s budget . Significant increase over capital expenditure is going to add value in growing Indian GDP. The budget has rightly focused on controlling inflation and generating jobs. And as per me this budget is an immediate relief to the people.

Dilip Jose, MD & CEO, Manipal Health Enterprises

“It is a progressive budget with a focus on infrastructure development, which should in turn spur job creation. The steps to encourage environment-friendly consumption and businesses are very welcome too. The budget is also mindful of the expectations of the youth and the middle class.”

Gaurav Dubey, Founder & CEO, LivLong

 “As our nation is at the forefront of healthcare services, the budget for the fiscal year 2023 has created ample opportunities for the health sector. In terms of escalating the quality of healthcare services, the stride to build 157 additional nursing colleges alongside the 157 existing medical institutions since 2015 is commendable. This will prove to be a beneficial step for the further advancement of homecare services, which will become a mainstay of the clinical protocol. Therefore, the demand for medical consulting services will increase, and more experienced and qualified personnel will enter the industry. Furthermore, 5G-empowered healthcare apps will be developed by the engineering institute, as 5G will enhance telehealth services significantly. Hence, medical professionals will be able to treat patients more effectively in real-time and will reach rural regions promptly due to improved communication. The aforementioned steps will ultimately lead to an improvement in healthcare services.

Hari Subramaniam, Founder & Director, LifeSigns

“The budget for 2023–24 is a significant step forward for the health-tech sector. With a focus on strengthening the research infrastructure and investment in digitalization through 5G, it sets a positive trajectory for companies like ours. The establishment of new nursing colleges and the allocation of resources for medical research and pharmaceutical innovation demonstrate a commitment to improving healthcare access and outcomes.

Harsimarbir Singh, Co-founder, Pristyn Care

“The Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is well-balanced, progressive and development-oriented. Along with many necessary changes that have been put in motion, the steps to enhance ease of doing business, such as reducing 39,000 compliances and decriminalizing 3,400 legal provisions, is a welcome step. Acknowledging start-ups as drivers for the Indian economy’s growth, the finance minister has also extended the existing tax benefits for such businesses by one more year till March 31, 2024. Healthcare services by the small & medium sector are yet to bounce back, and the Finance Minister’s announcement of revamped Credit guarantee scheme, allocation of Rs 9,000 crore and reduced credit cost is sure to boost the sector to revive quickly.

Kamal Narayan Omer, CEO, IHW Council

“With the Union Budget 2023-24, focusing on accessible, affordable and inclusive health care for all along with emphasis on health infrastructure and better R&D for innovations and developments in healthcare, Budget 2023-24 is going to accelerate India’s progression towards SDG’s while ensuring that no one is left behind, thus facilitating the building of a Swasth and Ayushman Bharat.

Dr Kanury Rao, Co-founder and CSO, PredOmix

“We applaud the announcement of the establishment of centres of excellence for AI in prestigious institutions, which will aid in the creation of ground-breaking applications and scalable solutions to challenges in the field of health. The introduction of a new course will aid medical students in learning about medical devices and provide them with new career opportunities. Furthermore, we anticipate additional investment in the healthcare sector as a result of the expansion of ICMR labs in India.

Dr Kshitiz Murdia – CEO & Co-Founder, Indira IVF

“The health budget this year has focused on a few niche however, crucial areas of healthcare. This has brought to the forefront increasing access to training, addressing the challenges associated with sickle-cell anaemia, encouraging public-private partnership, and futuristic developments in medical technology, especially of that in artificial intelligence.

The incorporation of 157 new nursing colleges will help in skilled manpower required for better healthcare delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the indispensability of trained medical professionals who can take care of patients from the frontline; this initiative makes us future-ready for similar situations.

Mandeep Singh Kumar, Vice-President and Country GM, Intuitive India

“With the economy expected to grow at 7% this year, the budget has adequately focused on the upskilling of the healthcare professionals in the country through opening of nursing schools and encouraging clinical research. Post the pandemic, we have witnessed a rise in the need for quality care, and the Union Budget of 2023 has slowly but surely paved the way for the same. With the need for accelerated adoption of new-age technologies like robotic-assisted surgery in the country, I am glad that emphasis is being laid on multidisciplinary courses for medical devices. This will ensure the availability of skilled manpower for enabling application of futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and research.”

Manoj Saxena, Managing Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma

“A new program to promote pharmaceutical research & development (R&D) will help spur investment in innovations that can address areas of high disease burden and unmet health needs in India. This is a long-awaited move, and we hope such a program will provide sustained incentives for investment so that the Indian pharmaceutical industry becomes a global hub for both discovery and development work.

Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals

“The budget keeps us on track while providing universal access to health facilities. The rollout for screening for Sickel Cell anaemia of 7 crore people in the 0-40 years age group in affected tribal areas is a good move. The fact that this rare disease found a place in the budget is a testament to show that the government is on a mission to eradicate the disease and make access to quality healthcare services a reality for India. It also makes me happy from the bottom of my heart to know that more than 220 crores of COVID-19 vaccines for 102 crore people were administered. This will in turn be invaluable in strengthening our fight against non-communicable diseases. In addition to that the effort to increase skilled healthcare personnel by establishing 157 new nursing colleges in core locations gives hope for manpower growth in the healthcare sector of India. At Wadia Hospitals, we look forward to contributing to the success of these path-breaking initiatives. Overall, a very well thought out budget that has heard our voices and needs of the healthcare sector of the country.”

Mugdha Pradhan, CEO and Founder, iThrive

“Popularising millets is just going to make an already protein deprived nation even more malnourished. Maybe next time they can shift the focus to eggs, meat and ghee as these are nutritious foods that really bring health into human beings. That apart, we are expecting the Government to consider lowering taxes applied on the wellness industry to align with their new Agenda of Healthy India.”

Dr Om Manchanda, Managing Director, Dr Lal PathLabs

“We compliment the Finance Minister for announcing the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in her budget speech. Nurses are the backbone of healthcare delivery infrastructure as was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. New nursing colleges would go a long way in bridging our patient-to-nurse ratio. The decision to make facilities in select ICMR labs for research by public and private medical facilities will be a boon to the healthcare research and advancements.

Niine celebrates “National Girl Child Day” With Menstrual Hygiene drive


Over 6000 sanitary napkins distributed at Govt. Girls Secondary School, Burari, Delhi

National Girl Child Day, celebrated annually on January 24th, is an important occasion to raise awareness about the rights and education of girls in India. This year, Niine Private Limited, a leading brand in menstrual hygiene products, marked the occasion with a meaningful initiative to empower young girls at the Government Girls Secondary School in Burari, Delhi.

As part of the initiative, Niine Private Limited distributed 6000 sanitary napkins to the students of the school, providing much-needed resources to girls from economically weaker sections. Additionally, the company also delivered an enlightening talk on menstrual hygiene to the students, aimed at educating and empowering them to take control of their menstrual health and break the taboo surrounding menstruation.

“At Niine, we are deeply committed to the well-being and empowerment of young girls,” said Mr. Ameya Dangi, CEO of Niine Private Limited. We believe that every girl has the right to access resources that will help them manage their menstrual health and we are proud to have been able to celebrate National Girl Child Day in a meaningful way by providing girls in this school with the necessary resources and knowledge surrounding menstrual health. We are dedicated to expand these efforts further, and reach out to more people in coming time.”

Established on World Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2018, Niine Private Limited has quickly become a leading brand in menstrual hygiene products in India. The company has built a reputation for crafting personal hygiene solutions through rigorous testing and innovation, making its products extremely skin-friendly and highly absorbent. With a strong commitment to improving female personal hygiene, Niine Private Limited has expanded into baby care and hand hygiene products under the same brand name. 

For more information, visit: https://www.niine.com/

Josh foundation shows a heartened approach toward hearing-impaired children in presence of Jaaved Jaaferi


Dance is a language that speaks directly to the soul, without even needing to utter a single word. Josh foundation being one of the leading NGOs working with hearing-impaired children had taken an initiative to uplift their morale by organizing a dance competition under the umbrella of the “Azadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav” mantra. This event is supported by Dynacons, event partners were AMC and Kshitij. Many children who are underprivileged and have already been a part of Josh Foundation’s hearing-aid distribution participated in this competition to showcase their talent and the winners were awarded a cash prize to commemorate their victory.

Josh foundation has also supported over 1600+ hearing-impaired underprivileged children and is constantly coming up with new strategies to give these children the best technology and support so they can have a bright and successful future. The Chief Guest of the event was Jaaved Jaaferi, and during the prize distribution, he said. “It was a very humbling experience looking at how dance has united these kids. I’m really honored to have been getting this opportunity today to experience this in person. Thank you josh foundation for organizing such a wonderful event.”

When asked Actor and Judge Darsheel Safary about his experience, he said “Dance has always been an integral part of my life, and looking at the passion and dedication these kids were dancing and doing aerobatic stunts, makes me quite hopeful that dance as a career has a great future through them. Josh Foundation has been doing impeccable work and I look forward to coming to more events and showing my support to the cause.”

When asked Founder-Turstee, Dr. Jayant Gandhi to share a little about the work done by Josh Foundation, he mentioned, “Josh Foundation has been working with under-privilege hearing impaired children and till date have donated more than 1600+ hearing aids with help of our donors and patrons. We are working towards a mission that is to eradicate hearing impairment and spread awareness of screening the child right when they are born.

When asked to share some light on how are the winners going to be awarded? Ms. Devangi Dalal, the Founder-Turstee of the Josh Foundation says “The real motive behind organizing this dance competition was to help these children enroll in some creative activity and boost up their self-confidence. Our primary focus is always to support, encourage and empower these kids. Our kindness is only beautiful when we make these specially abled children equally inclusive in our society”.

The competition was held on Saturday, 28th January 2023 at Mukesh Patel Auditorium, NMIMS Institution (Vile Parle West). The competition was judged by Celebrity Actors, Jaaved Jaaferi and Darsheel Safary, and Bollywood choreographers, Kunjan Jani, Bhaumikk Shah, and Jainil Mehta. Winners of the event were honored with the trophy and Prizes respectively. Each participant was awarded a certificate and individual prizes.

14-year-old Ethiopian boy undergoes complex kidney transplantation surgery at Aster CMI Hospital


A 14-year-old boy from Ethiopia with stunted growth and bony deformities was given a new lease of life by his father as a kidney donor at Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore. The child was diagnosed with a condition called posterior urethral valves which causes blockage to the flow of urine. He underwent two surgeries for the same condition at the age of 2 and 6 years. However, the child continued to have recurrent infections with a progressive decline in renal functions. Since the last 2 years, he has not been able to walk around or do his activities due to bony deformities and muscle weakness. Kidney transplantation was the best option for him. The child’s father came forward as a voluntary donor to save his son’s life.

Kidney transplantation was done using the standard induction immunosuppression protocol. The surgery lasted close to six hours. There were no complications during or after the surgery. Child was closely monitored and discharged after one week with normal renal functions. Child is currently two months post-transplant and is doing well. Fortunately, now he is undergoing physiotherapy and is able to stand on his own. The child will be regularly monitored for urinary tract infections with periodic urine cultures.

This high-risk transplant was performed by a team of doctors which included Dr. Vidyashankar P, Lead Consultant – Nephrology, Dr. Govardhan Reddy, Lead Consultant – Urology & Uro Oncology, Dr. Shashank Shetty, Consultant – Nephrology, Dr. Akila V, Consultant – Nephrology, Dr. Rajanna M, Resident – Nephrology.

Commenting on this complex kidney transplantation, Dr. Vidyashankar P, Lead Consultant – Nephrology, Aster CMI Hospital, said, “chronic kidney disease in children has adverse long-term consequences. Congenital anomalies in the kidney and urinary tract are the most common cause of CKD in children. Children with end stage renal disease face various challenges during dialysis in the form of compliance, blood pressure fluctuations and access issues. Dialysis interferes with a child’s growth and development and shortens the life span. Pediatric renal transplantation is a lifesaving procedure in these cases.

Talking about the surgery, Dr. Govardhan Reddy, Lead Consultant – Urology & Uro Oncology, Aster CMI Hospital said “Children with CKD usually present late, with bony deformities and stunted growth. 2 to 3 percent of these children progress to end-stage renal disease. The procedure was surgically challenging in view of the small vessels and limitation of space in the recipient. Kidney transplantation opens way for a near-normal childhood in this group of children.

For more information, visit: https://www.asterdmhealthcare.com/

75% of Asthma Patients Have Worse Symptoms During Cold or Flu


Amid the ongoing cold waves of winters, smog and air pollution have resumed, thereby increasing the intensity of blocked airways in people’s lungs, giving a rise to respiratory problems. But everyone has only one set of lungs, which is integral to holistic health. Keeping lungs healthy is central to staying healthy in the long run. And to keep lungs healthy, one needs to know how to combat the effects of air pollution. And for this, one needs the right information from credible sources, which is available on the Healthy Lungs portal (www.thehealthylungs.com) – a one-stop credible knowledge repository on lung diseases. The portal is dedicated to enhancing awareness, busting myths, improving knowledge and motivating patients to adhere to the therapy for their lung diseases. 

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the extent of annual premature deaths due to air pollution globally is 7 million. These startling statistics call for action for preventive measures to keep lungs healthy. As the Air Quality Index (AQI) in most Indian cities is abnormally high, almost 5 times higher than that recommended by the WHO. The Indian city of Delhi has been the most polluted in the world for consecutive five years. And when one gets exposed to poor air quality, one becomes more susceptible to the side effects of air pollution. These range from cough, chest pain, throat irritation, blocked nasal path, inflamed airways, asthma and more. 

Patients with existing lung problems like asthma due to existing inflammation of the airways may suffer during the winter season. Asthma patients tend to experience worsened symptoms during winter or are more likely to have an asthma attack. They can get a cold or the flu since the air outside is cold and dry. Colds and flu are the top triggers for people with asthma. And 75% of asthma patients get their symptoms worse when they have a cold or the flu. If one has a cold or the flu alongside asthma one is at risk of an asthma attack.

The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. Shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, wheezing when exhaling, trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, and coughing are common symptoms of asthma. The signs and symptoms of asthma are more frequent and bothersome. Asthma signs and symptoms for some persons flare-up in certain situations such as exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry; occupational asthma triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust and allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances. 

Certain risk factors increase the chances of developing asthma such as having a blood relative with asthma, such as a parent or sibling, being overweight, being a smoker, exposure to second-hand smoke, exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution. While there is no way to cure asthma, a tailor-made plan can help prevent asthma attacks. Treating asthma early may prevent long-term lung damage and help keep the condition from getting worse over time. Asthma is an ongoing condition that needs regular monitoring and treatment. 

If the asthma symptoms get worse and medication doesn’t seem to ease the symptoms, visit your doctor to the earliest. Prevention and long-term control are key to stopping asthma attacks before they start. In case of an asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler. Alkem’s healthy lungs is trying to bring to the masses the right information to make informed healthcare decisions that may be life-savers for them.

Homeopathy treatment protocols are able to reduce thyroid stimulating hormone readings in 52% patients


Homeopathic treatment protocol developed at Dr Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinic are effective in reducing thyroid stimulating hormone readings in 52% hypothyroidism patients within the first follow-up. The results were based on a study of 1200 hypothyroidism patient cases under treatment of doctors at the clinic. 

Dr Kalyan Banerjee, Principal Consultant at Dr Kalyan Banerjee’s clinic, informs, “An analysis of over 1200 recent hypothyroidism cases suggest that our evidence-based homeopathy treatment protocols are effective in managing hypothyroidism. We generally see that patients in the early stages can entirely avoid using thyroid replacement hormones while those who have already taken thyroid hormone replacement therapy are very often able to either stop of significantly reduce their dosage. Patients known as ‘labile’ cases, whose readings fluctuate a lot are in great distress because the dosage of the thyroid hormone is constantly being changed. These cases are particularly suited for homeopathic management and respond well.”

Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder in India with an estimated 42 million patients. The prevalence of hypothyroidism in India is estimated to be about 11% which is amongst the highest in the world. Women in the reproductive age group (15-49 years) have the highest risk of developing hypothyroidism. It is estimated that the presence of thyroid disorders in women has almost doubled in the last decade. 

Dr Kushal Banerjee, adds, informs “The detection and diagnosis of hypothyroidism has risen sharply in the last decade due to the combined effect of increased awareness and a significant reduction in testing cost and increasing availability of testing infrastructure. Unfortunately, this has not been accompanied with a nuanced understanding of the condition, which is resulting in introduction of thyroid hormone replacement where improvement in lifestyle and active surveillance of the case should have been implemented.  Some symptoms like low energy levels, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, insomnia, intolerance of cold and others are thought to be thyroid related whereas the same may be a result of poor lifestyle. Patients may come to believe that forcibly correcting a minor anomaly in the thyroid function test can address these issues while the solution lies somewhere else.”

It was considered that the long-standing iodine deficiency in the country was the principal contributor to developing hypothyroidism. To address it, iodine supplementation was introduced in 1983 and India is now considered iodine replete. However, there is still an increasing trend of developing immune system mediated hypothyroidism that has been noticed over the past few decades. Recent studies on iodine supplementation are now indicating it to be a contributor to the development of immune system mediated hypothyroidism, like Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. 

Dr Kushal Banerjee, elaborates “Our doctors prescribe for about 1000 cases of hypothyroidism every month. The patients are increasingly being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and subsequent hypothyroidism. There is a need for better awareness about this condition. Euthyroid states, where the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is elevated but the functional thyroid hormones are within the normal range need not be treated with thyroid hormone supplementation in every instance. Similarly, there is limited awareness of sub-clinical hypothyroidism, where some readings may be marginally raised but the patient may not require thyroid hormone supplementation. Starting thyroid hormone supplementation in such cases quickly builds a dependence as the thyroid gland works less due to the availability of the synthetic hormone in circulation. These patients, who may not have needed any thyroid hormones, end up taking synthetic hormones for life. Our patient population has a substantial number of those who should have not started thyroid treatment in the first place. In these cases, we help them slowly wean it off.”

Hypothyroidism poses a significant healthcare burden on the country but there needs to be a cohesive policy to address it effectively.  The general Indian population is at a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism as compared to data from other countries. Even today, large portions of the country do not have easy access to primary health care services. Some studies estimate that about 5% hypothyroidism cases may remain undiagnosed. Therefore, a coherent hypothyroidism screening protocol and management modalities must be clearly defined for the Indian population. 

For more information, visit: https://www.drkbanerjee.com

GIM launches its first online program in Health Care Management with upGrad

Young handsome physician in a medical robe with stethoscope

Goa Institute of Management (GIM) launched the Professional Certificate Program in Health Care Management powered by Asia’s largest higher Edtech Company, upGrad.

The 11-month course offers 300+ hours of learning experience and is designed by industry experts and academicians to integrate hands-on training within the curriculum seamlessly. A 3-day on-campus immersion tour has also been embedded to make the learning more immersive and engaging through lectures, alumni connect, networking sessions, etc. Other value adds include 40+ hours of live sessions, 8+ case studies and assignments, and a capstone project along with 360-degree career support, 1:1 mentorship and job assistance to help learners build a stronger career in healthcare management.

As per an industry report, Health Care jobs continue to rank high among the careers with the most job security. Individuals with an extensive understanding of the medical field and strong communication skills may find healthcare management to be an ideal career choice.

Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Ajit Parulekar, Director, Goa Institute of Management said, ‘’Goa Institute of Management has a long history of helping working professionals in achieving their career goals. With this shared vision, we are thrilled to collaborate with upGrad, one of the world’s largest online higher education platforms, to provide widely recognized, high-quality certificate programmes to thousands of learners worldwide.”

The GIM Health Care program powered by upGrad also provides ample career prospects that go beyond the fields of medicine, nursing, and therapy. 

“Healthcare has seen a significant rise in the adoption of technology in the last few years and has also made the domain popular among non-medical professionals. Unlike yesteryears, the diaspora has expanded from conventional topics to also covering new-age elements like Healthcare Marketing, Benchmarking in Healthcare, Ethical & Legal Issues in Healthcare, Operations and Material management, etc. and offers much more than nursing jobs. Hence, our strategic partnership with GIM – that brings with it an education legacy will support us in our mission of building a skilled nation together and shall be equipped to take up the leadership roles of tomorrow,” concluded Phalgun Kompalli, Co-founder, upGrad.

LabelBlind to Study the Baseline Nutrition Values of Packed Food Products


Looking at the importance and increased need for front of pack labelling of packaged food products in the country, FoLSol® by LabelBlind®, India’s first food labelling and regulatory compliance digital food rating platform will study the baseline nutrition values of packed food products. 

The statistical findings of the study done by LabelBlind® would go on to provide data intelligence and insights for the draft regulation on India’s 1st Front of Pack Labelling of Packaged Food Products with Nutrition Star Ratings. The regulation, as it comes into force, will guide consumers to choose healthier food options, besides creating nutrition literacy amongst them.

Their food rating system established ratings for 8000 high consumption packaged food products, across 140 food categories, on a nutrition score of 1 (least healthy) to 5 (healthiest). 

In 2020-21, the company created FoLSol® (Food Labelling Solutions) – India’s 1st Digital Food Labelling Software to strengthen food regulation compliances with a digital labelling model that is accurate, fast and economical, to benefit packed foods and hotels, restaurants and QSR businesses. In 2022, FoLSol® by LabelBlind® was taken to the market, and went onto to create labelling software for leading players of the food industry, they have gone on to establish partnerships in the food space to extend labelling compliance services in the areas of Lab Test, Quality Compliance and Food Standard Certifications. 

It is key to adhere to Global Export Labelling regulations, LabelBlind® is working towards developing the global exports labelling software and is networking with food companies to know the digitization needs to design the product which will be ready to use from day one.

Speaking on the same, Rashida Vapiwala, Founder – LabeBlind® adds, The food ecosystem is what defines the health and well-being of citizens of a country. It is rather mandatory to be labelling compliant as per government regulations. The added benefit is that it helps win consumers’ trust. We at LabelBlind®, are committed towards providing easy packed food labelling, menu labelling and other digitised forms of food labelling including the use of QR codes. The world is moving rapidly towards digitization, and FoLSol® by LabelBlind® has come into existence to ease the process of food labelling for food businesses to comply with domestic and international regulations. Today, any food business can use the platform to be completely label compliant and meet all food and safety standards with ease.”

Hataali 2.0 creates a single interoperable platform for the entire advanced therapy ecosystem

Woman visiting psychologist office. Patient sitting in armchair and talking to psychiatrist. Vector illustration for therapy session, psychotherapy counseling concept

Hataali – the advanced therapy ecosystem platform – has announced the launch of Hataali 2.0. This second-generation platform will unlock the potential in the advanced therapies ecosystem by providing a plug and play approach for any stakeholder and almost any type of data.

Hataali, which was originally developed as a blockchain-based system to track advanced therapies from vein to vein, now offers a single holistic platform for all parts of the advanced therapy ecosystem. The new platform has been designed with full modularisation, meaning companies can start with even just a basic service and add additional modules as they grow.

Hataali 2.0 went live earlier this month with 5 initial modules – for Ordering & Scheduling, Live Communications, Digital Labelling, Smart Labs and Trace & Trace – with new modules planned to come to online in the near future. For example, the company will add a new Batch Records Module using its patented blockchain technology, which will significantly increase functionality to meet the needs of the advanced therapies.

In a further significant change for the tracking of cell and gene therapies, Hataali 2.0 enables the use of multiple Chain of Identify (COI) identifiers for the first time. This addresses one of the biggest current challenges in the advanced therapy  sector  – where health service providers, contract manufacturers and pharma companies are operating disparate systems with little interoperability and insisting on their own specific identifiers. This means that Hataali 2.0 can transform even the most complex supply chains with many stakeholders and messy data into integrated tracking solutions able to monitor in real-time the location and conditions of any individual therapy. Crucially, this can be adopted by any stakeholder without changing existing approaches.

The platform’s modularization opens-up many new areas and solutions with a Smart Lab Module offering real-time lab stock and inventory management as well as well automating the procurement process and integration with ERP systems.

This latest development follows the awarding of a US patent for the exclusive use of blockchain based personalised medicine platforms early last year.

Raja Sharif, CEO at Hataali, added: “It’s a really big moment not just for Hataali, but for the wider advanced therapy industry, and our new goal is to build the enabling platform around which the advanced therapies supply chain and community can grow. To take just an example of why this is so important, it simultaneously removes the huge challenge multiple COIs present while enabling true personalisation of systems for each client. Therefore, in what might be challenging year ahead for some cash strapped biotechs, they only need to pay for the applications they need, greatly reducing costs. But more significantly modulization also opens-up many new adjacent applications, including in cutting-edge fields like smart labs. Over the next few months, you will see us add an increasing number of modules and new clients can be up and running with Hataali in just 4 months ”.

The company’s technology also received two digital technology awards at the end of 2022. The first at the annual CPHI Pharma Awards and the second through Thomson Reuters – in the latter, Hataali was identified as the ‘most Valuable Data and Insights’ platform ahead of inhouse solutions from both big pharma giants Astra Zeneca and Novartis. Hataali, becomes the first ATMP technology solutions company to win all such awards in the same year.

For more information, visit: https://www.atmps.net/

AIIMS Rishikesh and SaveLIFE Foundation sign MOU to enhance trauma care in India


To advance road safety and emergency medical care across India, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh and SaveLIFE Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

AIIMS, Rishikesh has a Level 1 Trauma Centre along with a department of trauma care and surgery. SaveLIFE Foundation is best known for its efforts to get a Good Samaritan Law instituted in India. The Good Samaritan Law protects bystanders who come forward to rescue injured persons from any ensuing legal or procedural hassles.

The collaboration will allow knowledge sharing between SaveLIFE Foundation and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh to build a model trauma care framework specific to Indian needs. Both institutions shall work closely to promote road safety and emergency medical care including joint research, policy advocacy, training programs, crash investigations and interpretation using deep learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), knowledge dissemination events, and opportunities in road safety and emergency care for medical students and young professionals.

Speaking on the collaboration, Dr (Prof.) Meenu Singh, Executive Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh said, “Road crashes are a major cause of death and disability in our country. Injury prevention and rapid care, therefore, form the foundation of road safety. Our partnership with SaveLIFE Foundation will see close collaboration in the areas of crash analytics, injury prevention & trauma systems development to save lives.”

Piyush Tewari, Founder & CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation said, “Beginning with the Good Samaritan Law, immediate care for the injured has been an integral part of our mission at SaveLIFE Foundation. It’s a pleasure for us to partner with AIIMS, Rishikesh, which is at the forefront of driving excellence in the area of trauma care to advance our mission of ensuring fast and highly competent care to road crash victims across India.”

The MoU was signed by Dr. (Prof.) Meenu Singh, Executive Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh and Mr. Piyush Tewari, Founder and CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation and in the presence of Dr. Madhur Uniyal, Assistant Professor, Department of Trauma Care and Surgery, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Dr Roshan Jose, Associate Director, SaveLIFE Foundation, and others.

For more information, visit: http://www.savelifefoundation.org/