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18th June, 2017
Do clinical practice guidelines have legal implications?
Call guidelines as guidance or advisories
Clinical practice guidelines are becoming an increasingly common feature of the health care. The government has developed Standard Treatment Guidelines under the Clinical Establishments Act (CEA), for example, for critical care, orthopaedics, cardiovascular diseases, general surgery etc. There are 21 such guidelines. "To ensure compliance with Standard Treatment Guidelines as may be determined and issued by the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be, from time to time" is one of the conditions to be fulfilled for registration and renewal of a clinical establishment under CEA (Clinical Establishments Act FAQs).
The government has three functions to perform
  • Administrative through bureaucracy
  • Regulatory through Medical Council of India  and state councils
  • Legislative through law ministry
Developing guidelines and updating them therefore is not the job of the Govt; instead it should be the job of professional bodies such as medical associations, which represent the collective consciousness of the medical fraternity.
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Mental disorders manifesting as a silent killer among Indian population
Need to act against the social stigma and prejudice associated with the disorder

New Delhi, 17 June 2017: According to recent statistics, about 7.5% of Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders requiring expert intervention. About 56 million in the country suffer from depression and another 38 million suffer from anxiety disorders. What further exacerbates this situation is the lack of resources, dearth of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. 
Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. On the other hand, anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
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