PGI National Conference on Health Technology Assessment Begins
The two-day national conference on the “Health Technology Assessment for Universal Health Coverage” begins today at PGI Chandigarh. This conference is being organized by School of Public Health, PGIMER Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; World Health Organization; National Health Systems Resource Centre, MoHFW; Centre for Health Economics, University of York, United Kingdom; and the Imperial College, London. 
Prof. KK Talwar, who has been appointed as the chairman of recently constituted Health Technology Assessment Board in Department of Health Research will inaugurate the conference. Karl Claxton, a globally renowned health economist from the University of York, United Kingdom will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Shankar Prinja, Additional Professor of Health Economics and Organizing Secretary of the conference informed that the deliberations on important aspects like use of cost-effectiveness analysis to improve the efficiency of public health sector, value-based pricing for drugs and devices, practical application of economic evidence in clinical decision-making and how HTA can serve as a policy tool for evidence –informed and transparent decision-making in India will be held. 
The conference holds significant importance in view of the Government of India’s recently announced National Health Protection Scheme, which would translate in terms of increased money for health care and also increased purchasing of health care from health care providers. This would mean prioritizing on health intervention, procedures, drugs, devices and programs which offer the best value for money. Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a promising tool to evaluate various drugs, health interventions, technologies and devices in terms of health benefits, value for money, as well as social, ethical and other policy considerations. It will play an important role in priority-setting in the advent of universal health coverage in India. 
Nearly 300 delegates from all parts of the country and other countries including UK, Thailand, USA and Australia are attending this event. The audience would comprise of senior policy makers, academicians, researchers, health program managers, students from various medical, public health and pharmacy colleges. Health professionals from development agencies like World Health Organization, Gates Foundation, GIZ, IPE Global and private pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers will also attend. 
This conference was preceded by a five-day international fellowship on HTA from 19th February to 23rd February 2018 with prime objective of building capacity among researchers for undertaking HTA in India. This workshop included discussions and hands on exercises on several methodological and applicability issues regarding appraising clinical effectiveness through systematic reviews, cost-effectiveness analysis, addressing uncertainty, equity considerations of new medical technologies, devices, health interventions and programs. Speaking at the valedictory function, Prof. Rajesh Kumar, Dean (Academic) PGI highlighted the importance of developing capacity for health economics and public health in India.

Life after Life- The circle of life

 Manjeet (Name changed) never expected to have children – especially after she developed autoimmune hepatitis and complications of cirrhosis of liver and underwent a Deceased Donor Liver Transplant(DDLT) at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in August 2015. She was in her early thirties and felt that having children was a distant dream since she had undergone a liver transplantation for end-stage liver disease.  Manjeet was suffering from end-stage liver disease and was being managed for its complications over 5-7 years. She was not able to conceive because of advanced liver disease.  Only solution was to replace her diseased liver with a new liver (Liver transplantation).

So she was delightfully overjoyed, when she discovered last year in May 2017 that she was pregnant with her first child at the age of 32 years. It was a planned pregnancy after discussing its pros & cons.

Manjeet says that she was initially concerned that the medications she takes might harm her baby and continuing with the pregnancy was not possible since she was taking medicines. She was on immuno suppressive drugs to prevent her body’s immune system from rejecting her donated liver. But after discussing with Prof R K Dhiman, Head, Department of Hepatology PGIMER, Chandigarh who said that liver transplantation in women in reproductive age restores normal reproductive functions and improvement in quality of life.  Now with the advancement of immuno suppression for preventing graft (donor liver) rejection, it is possible to have normal pregnancy outcomes. Manjeet had all the factors that are associated with favorable pregnancy outcomes including good general health for about 2 years after transplantation, no graft (donated liver) rejection in the last year, adequate and stable graft function, no acute infections that might affect the fetus, maintenance immunosuppression at stable doses, patient compliance with treatment and follow-up, normal blood pressure and normal allograft ultrasonography results.

After a careful monitoring by a team of doctors including Hepatologists, Transplant surgeons and Obstetricians,  She gave birth to a healthy baby girl on 21 February 2018. She believes in God and is very happy that her little daughter is healthy and has filled the void in her family.

She has been managed by multidisciplinary team during period of pregnancy, which included Prof R K Dhiman,  Prof Ajay Duseja and Dr Sunil Taneja from Department of Hepatology; Prof A Behera,  Prof L Kaman and Dr Divya Dahia from Liver Transplant Unit and Prof Vanita Suri and  Dr Pooja Sikka from Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, PGI, Chandigarh. 

Prof Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh said that it is really a matter of pride for our Institute that a old liver transplant recipient she delivered a healthy baby girl by  c-section at PGI on 21.2.2018.  It is a first case at our Institute following liver transplant for a girl who could not get a baby due to advanced liver disease.  My heartiest congratulations to the team of liver transplant surgeons, hepatologists and Obstetricians for monitoring pregnancy and achieving the logical outcome.


Condolence meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof. Rajesh Kumar, Officiating Director PGIMER to pay homage to the departed soul of former Professor and Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. G.I. Dhall

A condolence meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof. Rajesh Kumar, Officiating Director PGIMER today to pay homage to the departed soul of former Professor and Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. G.I. Dhall, who passed away on 22nd February, 2018. Senior Professors, former directors, HODs, PGI faculty members, the administrative staff and resident doctors joined in to mourn the death of the eminent doctor and teacher of PGIMER .

Prof Rajesh Kumar recounted the achievements of Prof Dhall and paid a rich tribute to him. He said that his loss was a loss for the Institute and the medical fraternity. Prof Vanita Suri, Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology remembered Prof Dhall as a great mentor and fine teacher. According to Prof Suri, Prof Dhall was a disciplined teacher and a proponent of perfect bedside manners while attending a patient. He was very fluent in English language and very particular about its correct use during presentations. He and his wife Dr. Kamla Dhall together built the Department and its culture. Prof I.C. Pathak, former Director PGIMER and his contemporary shared his memories with the audience. Prof Ajit Avasthi HOD Psychiatry conducted the meeting. 

Prof Dhall joined the Institute in 1964 as a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and retired in February, 1992 as Head of the Department. He will be remembered for his immense contribution to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PGIMER. Uthala will take place on Sunday, 25th February,2018 between 2-3 p.m. at Laxminarayan Mandir, Sector-6, Panchkula.