March 31, 2008

Doctors beware, robots are here!

The new 5-million dollars medical and surgical simulation training centre located at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in East Baltimor, which opened in March, has some very unique new staff members -- robots.

The 'sim' centre contains two fully operational ORs, two intensive care units (ICUs), high-fidelity computerized mannequins that mimic physiologic and behavioural response to procedures, and 12 examination rooms where students practice routine exams on actors posing as patients with particular complaints and symptoms.

The mannequins have breath sounds and heart tones, palpable pulses, and a monitor that displays vital signs as students, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals practice everything from bag-mask ventilation, intubation and defibrillation to chest tube placement and endoscopies. Computer programmes test decision-making skills and knowledge on topics such as advanced cardiac life support and trauma management.

"The idea is to get it right before they treat real patients," said Elizabeth Hunt, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and the centre's director.

The troupe of paid professional actors who are trained to portray patients submit themselves to trainees who practice taking histories, performing physical exams, breaking bad news and communicating in a compassionate manner.

"Students can learn the science of medicine in many different ways, but there is only one good way to learn good bedside manner, and that is with real people," said Hunt.

Each of the 15 simulation rooms in the centre is equipped with adjustable cameras, microphones, one-way glass for observer viewing, and large flat-screen monitors so students and staff can quickly review their performance while it's still fresh in their minds.

In addition to training students and staff, Hunt said that the centre will also be used to train medical staff on new equipment, and for teaching emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

March 29, 2008

Doctors with MBAs: Numbers are fast rising

For professionals, an MBA is just what the doctor would order for career advancement. Now, the same holds good for doctors themselves. With corporatisation of hospitals and rapid growth plans, doctors are finding it useful to have a management degree - simply to run hospitals effectively. The most striking proof of this is the sharp increase in the number of doctors graduating from Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB) this year.

Of the total batch size of 422 students, 10 are doctors with prior work experience of 5-7 years. Earlier, there were just two to three doctors per batch.

Dr Vishal Beri, 32, an orthopaedic surgeon with a work experience of four years is one of the 10 students of 2007-08 batch. “After spending time at the lowest level one realises that management degree is essential to made a difference to the larger canvas,” says Dr Beri. He will be looking after operations for one of the hospital chains. Not only does one’s job profile go through a sea change, the salary levels also rise substantially.

ISB placement director VK Menon says though there is a demand from private equity firms, consulting companies and sectors like health care and pharmaceuticals, the demand from hospitals outstrips the rest due to the sheer magnitude. “The salaries have also shot up.

Eyewitnesses score over medical report - Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has said that the testimony of eyewitness will have precedence over the medical report for deciding criminal cases. Over dependence on medical opinion to discard testimony of an eyewitness is not conducive for the administration of criminal justice system, said apex court.

A bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P Sathasivam said in case of variance between medical evidence and ocular evi-dence, the latter shall prevail. It is only when the medical evidence specifically rules out the injury as claimed to have been inflicted as per oral testimony, should a court draw adverse inference.

The court cautioned the judiciary not to discard the testimony of an eye witness and overdepend on expert medical opinion. “Over dependence on such opinion (medical) evidence, even if the witness is an expert in the field, to checkmate the direct testimony given by an eyewitness is not a safe modus adoptable in criminal cases,” the court said.

March 26, 2008

MedicKey USB Device records and stores Patient’s Medical Information

The MedicKey is a portable key chain sized USB device that happens to be the first of its kind to shorten the gap between hospitals, doctors and patients regarding their over-all health care wherever they may be. It allows the patient to always have critical medical information with them.

Michael Bick, PhD, co-founder of MedicKey said that the MedicKey launch comes just as the nations need for Personal Health Records that can transcend limited facility-specific technology becomes increasingly unavoidable.

Each hospital has its own technology for record keeping and hospitals simply cannoy conveniently replay patients’ records from facility to facility due to the possibility of medical errors and such like.

But, with the help of MedicKey, hospital staff can be provided with all the patient’s emergency contact information, medications and allergies, dramatically cutting down any testing that delays further care.

Further, MedicKey USB device allows hospitals to upload new records easily to each patient’s MedicKey device to remain updated. Once at home, the individual or home physician can quickly view, add or edit medication details and notes regarding care and treatments received.

March 22, 2008

Doctors taking corporate road in medicine

From stethoscopes and white coats to business suits and laptops. A growing number of doctors are now taking the corporate road in medicine.


For 33-year old orthopedic surgeon Vishal Beri with nine years of experience in clinical practice - getting into the Indian school of business, Hyderabad has paid off.


It's given him a chance to enter the senior-management level in India's growing healthcare industry. Now he has two offers in hand to run operations at large corporate hospitals.


Vishal Beri says, “Once upon a time it was okay to be a doctor and may be manage your small practice. But now with corporate healthcare coming in a big and hospitals are opened every month, just having only medical knowledge is not enough.''


And many doctors seem to agree with Beri. According to the Indian medical association, as many as thousand doctors enrolled into management programmes in the last academic year. The current academic batch at ISB Hyderabad has 10 doctors.



A booming healthcare industry - which is growing at over 40 per cent - has meant a strong demand for doctors with managerial skills.”


''Initially that 20 bed hospitals and 50 bed hospitals are moving in scale to 100-bed hospitals. The old partnership structure where two doctors coming together is changing. As scale is changing we have private equity firms willing to look at investing in hospitals. As a result the organisational skills that are required one to raise money in terms of brand, human resources and in terms of stronger processes. It's difficult for a doctor to learn on the road,'' Partner, Ernst & Young Utkarsh Palnitkar says.


The healthcare sector got a break in the budget too a 5-year tax holiday for setting up hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 towns.


Wockhardt, Apollo hospitals; Fortis healthcare and local brands like global hospitals in Hyderabad have plans to scale up operations in the next four years.


In fact, the scarcity is so high that corporate hospitals often have to import managers to head their operations.

Medical parks will be built across the country: Ramadoss

Medical parks will soon be built across the country for makers of diagnostic equipment to set up plants thereby reducing manufacturing costs and making it easily available, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Saturday.

"Diagnostic equipment will be manufactured at these parks all across the country," Ramadoss said on the sidelines of a CII conference on diabetes and obesity here.

"The first one we are doing at Chennai where equipment manufacturers can set up base so that 75 to 80 per cent of things made should be used in India," Ramadoss said

This will help reduce the cost of diagnostic equipment most of which is presently made abroad, he said.

The manufacturers of these products had also given a commitment to ensure prices stayed low, the Minister said.

Speaking on the increasing cost of healthcare, Ramadoss said the country already had among the lowest cost of pharmaceuticals and medical treatment in the world but would like to see it reduced further.

"Health insurance which will be addressed in a very big way and is expected to take care of the problems associated with individual health spending," he said.

The Health Ministry will also be introducing the National Urban Health Mission in the next four to five months at a cost of Rs 22 crore which would provide health insurance for the urban poor particularly for slum dwellers.

"The advantage of having health insurance for the people living in slums is when they visit a public hospital the money will be received by the public sector. This will further help develop it," Ramadoss said.

March 21, 2008

Reliance-ADAG plans Rs.1000 Crore medical cities across country

As part of its plan for a pan-India foray in the healthcare sector, Reliance ADAG is planning to set up health cities or medical cities across the country. The company is learnt to be in talks to acquire land in Kolkata and Jaipur for the project.

According to industry estimates, each of these healthcities would require an investment of about $250 million or Rs 1,000 crore. When contacted, a Reliance ADAG spokesperson said, “We would not like to comment at this stage.”

According to sources, these medicities are expected to provide a complete medical ecosystem with facilities such as hospitals, medical, nursing and para-medical institutes, accommodation facilities for patients, space for retail etc.

It is also possible that the company may tie-up with a top class healthcare service provider depending on the project. Most of the leading Indian healthcare service providers such as Apollo Group, Fortis Healthcare and Hinduja Group among others have chalked out plans for medicities. Typically, the medical cities is a one-stop destination for all healthcare requirements.

In addition, it also supplements companies with skilled manpower which is facing huge shortage in the fast booming domestic healthcare industry. Although, Reliance ADAG has ambitious healthcare plans, it has only one hospital—Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, a tertiary care facility in Mumbai. It is believed that once this hospital gets operational later this year, the company would expedite its expansion plans

MedPlus plans 200 health clinics in next 1 year

Pharmacy retail chain MedPlus Health Services Ltd is setting up integrated health centres (IHCs) for a bigger bite of the $35 billion health care industry.

Madhukar Gangadi, founder & CEO, MedPlus said the company, which will kick off with 20 IHCs in Hyderabad initially, plans to have 200 clinics over the next 12 months across eight states.

Apart from pharmacy, the IHCs will have family clinics and offer diagnostic services. Each will provide the benefit of three doctors including a general practitioner, a gynaecologist and a paediatrician.

The IHCs will cost Rs 40-60 lakh each, said Gangadi.

The group, which also operates the Cornerstone chain of tailoring shops, has tied up 50 practising physicians who will provide consultation services at the IHCs.

Significantly, while the pharmacy outlets were company-owned so far, MedPlus has now decided to take the franchise route hereon.

This will help the company, which operates 300 pharmacy outlets in four states with an estimated share of 25-30% of the branded pharmacy business, is looking to ramp up the number to 1,000 outlets in the next 12 months.

March 19, 2008

UK Muslim doctors asked to remove veil

Muslim women doctors in the UK must remove their face veil while treating patients, according to new guidelines issued by the General Medical Council, which regulates the country's medical profession.

The GMC said doctors should be prepared to set aside personal and cultural preferences so that they don't compromise on patient care.

The Council, in its new document ''Personal Beliefs and Medical Practice'' said doctors must be open about procedures they object to because of their beliefs, such as abortion.

''Some patients, for example, may find that a face veil worn by their doctor presents an obstacle to effective communication and the development of trust.

''You must be prepared to respond to a patient's individual needs and take steps to anticipate and overcome any perceived barrier to communication,'' the document states.

Women could wear the hijab, which covers the head, but not the face.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain supported the GMC guidelines, saying that female Muslim doctors have a responsibility to put patient care first.

Dr Abdullah Shehu, chairman of the Muslim Council's medical committee, said: ''While wearing a veil does not preclude someone from practicing medicine, there is no harm in removing it where the ability to communicate or care for the patient is compromised. The Muslim community very much welcomes this guidance.''

Unite For Sight Volunteer Abroad Opportunities

Currently accepting applications for 2008 and 2009.

WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF VOLUNTEERS LIKE YOU, UNITE FOR SIGHT RESTORED SIGHT TO 10,062 PATIENTS AND PROVIDED EYE CARE TO 300,000 IN 2006 AND 2007

How Do I Apply? The application as well as complete details about Unite For Sight's international opportunities are available at http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer/

Who Is Eligible To Volunteer Abroad?: Volunteers are 18 years and older, and there is no upper age limit. Volunteers range from undergraduate/college students to medical and optometry students, public health students and professionals, business students, filmmakers and photographers, nurses and nursing students, social workers, physician's assistants, teachers and educators, opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Unite For Sight welcomes volunteers who may not have previous health or eye care experience. Volunteers receive all necessary training from Unite For Sight so that they are able to assist eye doctors with community eye outreach programs. Unite For Sight also welcomes volunteers to participate as photographers and filmmakers.

What is Unite For Sight's Mission? Unite For Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness.

Unite For Sight's work to prevent blindness and restore sight is featured weekly on CNN INTERNATIONAL from September 2007-August 2008.

What Do Volunteers Do?: Volunteers receive hands-on clinical experience while assisting doctors in remote, rural villages. Volunteers learn about international health and eye care, learn clinical skills while working with patients and doctors, and, in one program location, have an opportunity to practice cataract surgery on a goat's eye.

The goal of Unite For Sight and its partner eye clinics and communities is to create eye disease-free communities. Unite For Sight’s volunteers (local and visiting) work with partner eye clinics to provide eye care in communities without previous access. The eye clinic’s eye doctors and Unite For Sight volunteers jointly provide community-based screening programs in rural villages. The clinic’s eye doctors diagnose and treat eye disease in the field, and surgical patients are brought to the eye clinic for surgery. Patients receive free surgery funded by Unite For Sight so that no patient remains blind due to lack of funds. Volunteers immediately see the joy on patients' faces when their sight is restored after years of blindness. These memories last a lifetime.

While helping the community, volunteers are in a position to witness and draw their own conclusions about the failures and inequities of global health systems. It broadens their view of what works, and what role they can have to insure a health system that works for everyone and that leaves no person blind in the future.

What Do Volunteers Say?:

“During my volunteering experience, I realized that Unite for Sight’s service is a campaign for the salvation of humanity that allows the light of compassion to shine through each of us. I believe it is this display of altruism and commitment that makes the organization’s service so virtuous and treasured by both volunteers and patients. After all, making a difference in the world is not so difficult if only one would care enough to sacrifice a part of oneself in order to change the world for the better. My experience as a Unite for Sight volunteer has inspired me to dedicate my future career to serving underprivileged communities around the world.”—Chiwing “Jessica” Qu, Yale University Undergraduate Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Chennai, India

"I can honestly say that everything I learned in 3 years of medical school paled in comparison to the 3 week experience I had in Accra (Ghana) in October 2007 as part of Unite For Sight. The program provides volunteers with a unique and hands-on involvement – being able to help out to the level of your training and comfort. My experience taught me that Ghanaian people are the friendliest people I have interacted with anywhere in the world, that ordinary people involved with Unite For Sight are making extraordinary differences, and that sitting in a classroom receiving a world-class education cannot match real life experiences while volunteering."--Varun Verma, UMDNJ Medical Student, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana

"While in Ghana, I worked with an ophthalmologist (Dr. James Clarke), two eye nurses (Robert Dolo, Kartee Karloweah), an assistant (Bismark Boryor), and a coordinator (Seth). Working with the Unite for Sight team on these outreaches in service to these wonderful people of Ghana was the single most rewarding work I've done in my life. The people of Ghana are some of the friendliest and most thankful of anyone I have ever met. Overall, the experience has changed the way I view the world, my own country, and my role in the world forever. The only way to understand the way 4/5 of the world lives is to go yourself and get involved. The staff I worked with that are the heart and soul of Unite for Sight in Accra were some of the brightest and hard working individuals I have ever met. They are accomplishing feats few ever accomplish in their lives, and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with them and now call them my friends. I look forward to future work with Unite for Sight as an Ophthalmologist. The task at hand in Ghana, and I'm sure in all of Unite for Sight's locations throughout the world, is enormous. The more people that get involved, the more accessible services will be to these wonderful people. Plain and simple, the more we help, the more people can see the world they live in!”—Brian Fowler, Medical Student at University of Virginia, Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana

Hundreds of volunteer narratives, volunteer diaries, as well as videos of alumni volunteers and partner eye doctors are available on the Unite For Sight website: http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer

Also, Unite For Sight's Fifth Annual International Health Conference is coming up at Yale on April 12-13, 2008. Keynote addresses by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Sonia Sachs, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Dr. Allan Rosenfield, and Dr. Susan Blumenthal. Plus 180 Speakers and 2,000+ conference attendees. Register for the conference at http://www.uniteforsight.org/conference

March 17, 2008

Foreign medical degrees are legal and recognised in India : Ramdoss

The Union government has officially announced that a foreign postgraduate degree in medicine is legal and recognized. The Indian doctors having their post graduate degrees in medicine from UK, US, Canada, England and New Zealand are allowed to practice in India.

Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss today said that the union government took a unilateral decision to recognize foreign degrees in medicine allowing Indian origin people to practice in India.

He further said it doesn't come under the purview of Indian Medical Council (IMA) and added that the decision would be informed to the IMA.

“In fact this unilateral decision of the union government to recognize foreign degrees in medicine would help thousand of Indian doctors in UK who are out of job because of a legislation,” Ramdoss said.

March 11, 2008

Chennai attracting hundreds of childless couples

Offering cost-effective and high-tech fertility treatment, this southern metropolis is now attracting hundreds of childless couples from abroad, giving a new thrust to medical tourism.

Hospitals here have treated more than a thousand couples from abroad - the US, the UK, Canada, the Gulf, the Far East and neighbouring countries - in the last couple of years and the numbers are growing.

Latest technology, expertise of doctors and high success rate coupled with comparatively cheaper rates have put the city on the top in the list of medical tourists, doctors say.

Dr Kamala Selvaraj of GG Fertility Research Centre here says that personalised care is also a major factor contributing to the trend.

"In foreign countries, patients spend more time filling up forms. But here we meet the patients, do the tests, counsel and treat them."

Selvaraj says she has treated 244 patients from abroad in 2004 and that number has increased to 350 in 2007.

As much as 25 per cent of patients of Dr Sarat Battina, fertility specialist at Apollo Hospital, comprises foreigners this year, an increase from 15 per cent last year.

Claiming that she handles about 2,500 patients in a year, Battina echoes the cost-effectiveness of treatment here.

"An in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) that costs 8,000 to 10,000 USD in the West costs only 2,500 USD in Chennai... Moreover, the success rate (40 to 70 per cent) is comparable to international standards.

According to doctors here, they adopt latest treatment techniques and perform it as per international standards.

Micromanipulators are used for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which doctors collect a single live sperm and inject it directly into the cytoplasm of the mother's egg.

FISH (Fluroescent In Situ Hybridisation), a new genetic study technique that detects the presence or absence of specific DNA sequences on chromosomes, is also used.

The treatment period varies from one to four months.

"Once the patient becomes pregnant and the embryo shows signs of normal growth, she goes back to her home country and the delivery takes places there. We keep in touch with the patient through emails," says Dr.Battia.

Vandana Ram, an Indian settled in the US, who conceived after intra-uterine insemination (IUI) in Chennai, was all praise for the GG Research Centre.

"I waited for nine years, taking fertility drugs. In the US, one gets to consult the doctor only once in three months. Here, the doctor advised IUI which costs only Rs 1,000. I got pregnant after the second trial."

Need to train medical undergraduates in more integrated manner

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stressed the need to train medical undergraduates in a more integrated manner to enable them perform qualitative medico-legal functions, necessary for invaluable dispensation of justice.

Disposing a criminal original petition filed by a woman, seeking a CB-CID investigation into the death of her son, working in a canteen in Kattankolathur near Kancheepuram, Justice S Palanivelu said the bulk of medico legal work in India was still handled by government medical officers, unlike in developed nations. So they should be trained better.


He said medical education should render appreciable background and exposure in forensic medicine.Theoretical know how should be blended with practical application. Medico-legal studies should be introduced in the curriculum, he said.


The directorate of medical sciences and directorate of medical education could periodically train medical officers on forensic medicine to update their efficiency. A standardised format of noting down injuries and their signs could be evolve evolved to follow a uniform procedure to give certificates.


The judge rejected her plea to exhume the body,but directed CB-CID to conduct further investigations and file a final report, getting the final opinion of medical officers on the time of death, not mentioned in the post mortem report.


The lady said her son was found hanging from a tree branch, wearing a new dress without creases and alleged he was tortured by his employer and co workers. There was no reason for him to commit suicide, as registered by police and prayed that the case be transferred to the CB-CID


The judge said taluk hospital doctors should undergo one week training in forensic science department and sufficient infrastructure should be provided at mortuaries where autospies are held. Since adequate exposure to preservation techniques was the need of the hour, procedures for handling should be codified. While preparing certificates,medical officers should ensure that written findings were legible. The present post-mortem certificate format could be modified to enable the doctor furnishing all his findings in detail with reference to each organ and region.


House surgeons should be posted in the forensic department for reasonable period to better understand the subject. The number of PG seats in forensic medicine should be increased He also criticised the police for trying to wrap up the case in a short period even when the final opinion was awaited.The post mortem report did not reveal the time of death.A ticklish issue could not be resolved on the stength of an incomplete autospy report, the Judge said.


Besides the doctor said the deceased had ligature marks in the middle of the neck which meant that the victim had been attacked from behind, he said.

March 05, 2008

Self-medication popular among medical students: AIIMS study

A large number of trainee doctors are involved in self-medication although this is exactly what they tell patients not to do once, a new AIIMS study has said.

Self-medication is high among undergraduate medical and paramedical students in India and increases with medical knowledge, according to the study conducted by the pharmacology department of AIIMS.

"Ninetytwo per cent male and 88 per cent female students admitted taking medicine without prescription," Dr Y K Gupta, head of the department, Pharmacology, AIIMS, said.

A total of 238 students -166 females and 71 male - from 24 medical colleges in India participated in the survey. All of them belonged to the 18-25 years age-group.

Of the total number of students who participated in the survey, 63 per cent were medical while 37 per cent paramedical students.

The query was set on 16 categories of drugs on self medication. They include antibacterial, anti inflammatory, analgesic, antacid, anti-allergic, antitussive, antidiarrhoeal, antiulcer, antiemitic, antipyretic, ear drops, eye drops, laxative, hypnotics, nutritional supplements, ayurvedic, homoeopathy and unani.

The drugs most popular among students were analgesics-- used to treat headache, fatigue and body-ache-- antipyretics-- used to decrease body temperature-- antibacterials and antacids.

Gates Foundation seeks proposal for innovative health research

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation on wednesday said it will start accepting grant proposals from March 31 for the 100 million dollar initiative to help scientists across the globe in solving major health problems.

The foundation would start accepting proposals for the first round of funding as 'Grand Challenges Exploration' and the initial grant through the exploration's initiative would be of 100 million dollars.

Grand Challenges Explorations is an expansion of Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative, which was launched in 2003 to spur the discovery of new technologies to improve global health.

"Break through ideas can come from anywhere and we hope this new process will encourage a broad range of scientists from the world to bring their ideas to the table," Gates Foundation Global Health Programme President Tachi Yamada said in a statement.

"The projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive more than one million dollar additional grant", the foundation said.

The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates foundation focuses on improving people's health globally.

March 04, 2008

British Supermarket Chain Add Doctors to Its Grocery Store Line-up

A leading British supermarket chain launched an in-store doctor's surgery Monday at one of its branches in Manchester, the first such service in the country.

Customers at the Sainsbury's at Heaton Park in the northern English city will receive medical advice from doctors in a consultation room within the supermarket's pharmacy every working day, two nights a week, and Saturdays, a spokeswoman said, as part of a six-month pilot programme.

"We know it's convenient for people," the spokeswoman told AFP. "It's time saving, they'll have it all under one roof."

The doctors will be able to, via their laptops, access their patients' full medical histories, and send them to specialist practitioners should the need arise.

March 01, 2008

Budget 2008: FM prescribes health cover for parents

It pays to get a health cover for not just your spouse and kids, but also for your parents. The government will now allow you an additional deduction of Rs 15,000 if you pay the premium for health cover for your parents. The limit increases to Rs 20,000 if they are senior citizens.

This is how it works: Assume you have paid a mediclaim premium of Rs 15,000 and another premium of Rs 15,000 for your parents. The total tax deduction will now be Rs 30,000. This means that the additional limit will come as an extra benefit.

Till now, the tax deduction could be availed of only for payments of medical insurance for spouse and dependents. Now, even if your parents are not dependents, the benefit of additional tax deduction will be available.

IRDA Chairman CS Rao said this could enhance penetration of health covers among senior citizens and is also an incentive to the industry for introducing more insurance products.

General Insurance Council secretary general KN Bhandari said: “The additional exemption under Section 80D will help expand the health sector where seniors contribute about 40% of total premium income.”

Budget 2008: : Exemption limit raised and slabs changed

The FM has finally rewarded taxpayers for their improved compliance. And how. He has raised the threshold income when you start paying tax by a steep Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,50,000.

For women, the exemption limit goes up to Rs 1,80,000 and for senior citizens to Rs 2,25,000. He has also expanded the income brackets where the higher rates of 20% and 30% kick in, to leave more money in the hands of individuals, whether to splurge or save.

So, if your taxable income is above Rs 1.5 lakh but below Rs 3 lakh, you could end up paying just 10% income tax. A senior citizen with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh now ends up saving Rs 40,000 on tax outgo. Working women, on the other hand, will tot up tax savings of around Rs 45,000.

For those earning Rs 10 lakh and above, the savings work out to Rs 50,000. For the aged, there will be no tax liability in reverse mortgage schemes. They can also hope their children to get additional health covers for them in return for tax deduction of Rs 15,000. Clearly, no one’s complaining.

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