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Classify oxygen under EC Act: Vijay Darda

 Media Coverage  |  26-05-2021

Covid helpline of IMA Pune branch inaugurated

As the country gasps for oxygen amid Covid-19 pandemic, it should be classified under the Essential Commodities Act, regular audit of the pharmaceutical companies should be done, more attention should be paid to the villages and people’s representatives should be treated in government hospitals, said the chairman of editorial board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda.

He was speaking as the chief guest after inaugurating the helpline of Indian Medical Association (IMA) here on Sunday. The Pune branch of the IMA has set up a free Covid helpline to guide the patients who have quarantined themselves at home, and their relatives. Prominent among those present on the occasion were the president of the Pune branch of IMA Dr B L Deshmukh, executive trustee Dr Jayant Navrange, chairman of action committee Dr Sanjay Patil, treasurer Dr Rajan Sancheti, secretary Dr Alka Kshirsagar, Dr Sunil Ingle and others.

Vijay Darda said the spread of coronavirus around the world is being looked upon as a biological war. In fact, it is World War III. The world knows the vaccine is an effective remedy. Therefore, there is a need to accelerate the pace of vaccination across the country.

As of now, there is a shortage of oxygen. Against this background, oxygen should be included in the Essential Commodities Act. This will ensure its larger availability. Pharmaceutical companies are selling drugs at exorbitant rates. Medicines worth a few thousands are being sold for lakhs of rupees. Pharma companies need to be audited to prevent it. This will also help control the medicine prices.

Dr B L Deshmukh said 4,850 members of our organisation have been working in this epidemic for the last one and a half years with a sense of social commitment and full dedication. Their work has helped reduce stress on hospitals.

Dr Jayant Navrange said there is no effective drug on coronavirus at present. Medications and vaccines are vital to curb the spread of coronavirus. Now the vaccines have been rolled out. Therefore, vaccination of the population needs to be accelerated. He condemned the statement of Yoga Guru Ramdev Baba who had recently criticised the allopathic medicines on coronavirus as being useless.

Dr Sanjay Patil apprised about the activities of the Pune branch of IMA. He said patients’ questions will be answered through the helpline. All questions and answers will be posted on the website which will help in dispelling doubts of people in general. About 4,850 members of the Pune branch of IMA are willing to help the government in the vaccination drive. It is expected that the government would respond positively for this humanitarian gesture.

A majority of the members of IMA including Dr Aarti Nimkar, Dr Dilip Sarda attended the inauguration programme online. Dr Sunil Ingle made the introductory remarks and conducted the proceedings. Dr Rajan Sancheti introduced the chief guest while Dr Alka Kshirsagar proposed a vote of thanks.

Darda appreciates doctors’ dedication during Covid crisis

Lauding the services of other doctors, including members of the IMA, Vijay Darda noted that the doctors were like the soldiers fighting the battle without weapons. Doctors, nurses, paramedical staff are trying to save the patients day and night even in the face of shortage of beds, oxygen, injections, etc. Such a great dedication to service has earned doctors a noble reputation in the society. The services rendered by the doctors during the pandemic is simply incomparable. They have risked their lives to save the lives of patients. However, he also expressed his displeasure over the exploitation of the situation by some unscrupulous elements in the noble profession. He condemned such an attitude. He also stressed the need to make medical education affordable. He hoped that the reduction in the cost would stop the fleecing of patients by some doctors. He also suggested that the burden on the patient would be lessened if 5-10 doctors jointly bought expensive medical equipment worth crores of rupees instead of just one doctor purchasing all the paraphernalia.

‘MPs should seek treatment at govt hospital’

Darda said the urban centres have ample facilities to treat Covid patients. But the situation in the villages is worrisome. There is a shortage of beds, oxygen, medicines, among other things. Therefore, there is a need to pay an urgent attention towards the villages, he opined. On one hand, private hospitals are equipped with all the medical facilities to ensure proper treatment of patients and on the other, the condition of government hospitals is extremely pathetic. “To change this situation, if a member of Parliament takes ill, he should seek treatment in a government hospital. This will help modernise the government hospitals. I had raised this demand in the Rajya Sabha too. We always speak about the common man, but does the common man get the kind of service we are talking about,” he asked.

IMA Covid helpline no. : 9155291552

Those who want to avail of the service should type the word ‘Hi’ on this WhatsApp number and send it. They will receive guidance from a doctor immediately.

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Classify oxygen under EC Act: Vijay Darda


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