Friday, January 1, 2021

Healthy & Happy New Year

Personal Health Status: lessons learnt in 2020

This year of pandemic has changed the way one looks at his/her personal health. It is commonly observed that most of persons who were maintaining good health irrespective of having any existing disease have done well when contracted covid.

I do not have data to prove my point; it is just an observation of 9 months of pandemic and seeing patient’s recovery patterns. And even without pandemic this are useful points.

As far as personal health is concerned we have learnt some important lessons.

1. Maintain good overall fitness. Do regular exercise irrespective of your age, sex anything. Forgot covid, getting of any disease or its complications will reduce.

2. Do not remain under impression of all is well until the bell rings. After certain age regular health check ups are mandatory. No complaints means no need for regular check ups, could put you in danger. This does not mean that go list of endless list of tests which are being done without Drs Advice as “package directly available” which you may not need.

3. for those who are having some chronic diseases like Hypertension, diabetes, heart disease etc. You must maintain regular follow up as suggested even without you having active issues. This will help in maintain good control of your disease and at the same time early identification of complications of such diseases. So do not miss regular follow up and check up.

4. All must have family physician. Your family doctor is most important for your family,he will serve a guide in the time of emergency. Covid has taught us social medicine, how to trace contacts,protect family members etc,for all this he is very vital person.

5. Maintenance of your health data properly: preferably digitally now in this ear of Digital India.. This is very important. We have seen that patient when admitted alone (as the case with covid), at times are not aware about important past medical history etc.

6. Remote Consultation/Tele Consultations are here and are going to stay. This is convenient way to connect with your doctor, especially for follow up cases.Saves time and money. Make sure prior appointment is taken.

7. Have emergency plan ready: when ever some medical emergency comes in your family what are the steps that needs to be taken, should be known to all. Where to go as first contact point, whom to inform, medical documents ready etc.

8. Do not jump on any information that you get from any source. Before starting such diet/therapy anything do consult suitable expert in the field. There are no miracles happening anywhere. Do not rely upon so called forwards without knowing its authenticity.


9. Last but not the least: Mental Health. We are seeing lots of patients who are having anxiety, depression, stress etc. We know the reasons also for increasing such cases. But most important is ask for help. Talk to your doctor, family or friends about it, do not shy. You are not alone, ask for help and you will get it. Do not ignore this and fight alone.

Let’s have Happy & Healthy 2021.

Remember to wear mask, maintain social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Tips for telephonic consultation with your doctor

This pandemic has increased use of consulting doctor remotely via telephone/mobile app etc. This was very well in practice it was convenient to patients and people would love to call a dr at their convenience and save time.

Given current scenario this is now widely used and in the safety of all patients and providers and government has also come out with very good guidelines for making it widely used and safe.

Some important points which one needs to take care while consulting doctor remotely.

  1. Make sure you do not call directly without prior appointment. Doctor might be busy examining other patients and can lead to problems and cause lots of inconvenience also.
  2. Seek appointment with reception or drop a message before calling. No direct calling.
  3. share some basic details like your name,age,current medicines and present complain in brief so that doctor is prepared while talking to you. This saves time and one can focus on important aspects which will help in making nearly correct diagnosis and suggest treatment.
  4. Patient only needs to talk or interact. Patient is the right person who can convey things properly and understand. Only in few cases like kids or very old patients relatives can be involved.
  5. Do mention very clearly any drug allergy if you have.
  6. Ask for written prescription to avoid confusion and mistakes later.
  7. Online/telephonic consultation are chargeable so be clear about charges before initiating a consultation.
  8. Regular follow up is important in many conditions so take care of doing that.
  9. Keep useful information handy like blood pressure chart etc
  10. Keep the conversation short and to the point.
I think this will make your online consultation easy for both sides and safe.

Do follow and circulate.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reemerging and reaffirming importance of Primary Practice

Silver line in Dark Cloud of Corona Pandemic:
Reemerging and reaffirming importance of Primary Practice.

On the eve of doctor’s day a thought came to my mind about how the basis of delivery healthcare delivery has changed over a period of time.
Before the current pandemic, the society and unfortunately major stake holders and policy makers have just forgotten or overlook the importance of primary care in the country.
We family physicians firmly believe that primary care or family physicians are backbone and most important pillar of any healthcare system, anywhere in the world, but all miserably failed to accept it and have move forward and this fast life and unfortunately paying price for it.
Robust primary care in needed at all times, may it be current pandemic or ever emerging threat of lifestyle diseases.
Let’s have a look what primary care has done in these unprecedented times for across the world.
The main weapons or strategy  to counter current pandemic and manage it are:

1.    Change in behavior of public: most important, the specialty which connected to grass root can do it the best.
2.    Mass public education: via clinics and social media and people still believe what there doctors say….
3.    Early diagnosis: first contact point
4.    Community tracing: good knowledge of social background of patients and community
5.    Early referral in cases where it is needed: identifying danger sings early
6.    Effective follow up of confirmed cases after acute phase is over: post discharge care: answering never ending questions
7.    Home quarantined patients care: customized guidance depending upon patient profile,follow up of vital signs
8.    Psychological counselling: dispel the myths and remove anxiety,panic

And much more, which could do it effectively or better to say already, done it? Of course the answer is loud and clear.

You will be surprised to know that many patients were diagnosed (because family physicians could identify high risk patients as they have strong index of suspicion and community connect and of course they are updated) in just first visit and that too in just 100Rs (most of the family physicians are under paid for the class of service that they provide-but that is not the topic today, some other time): single consultation.
Can you imagine such an affordable care that country like India needed the most?
There are some very milder cases that can be easily managed on out patient basis and treating at home and yet too economical.

This pandemic has 2 main challenges

1. Economic burden on society: because most of the businesses are affected badly, so need affordable care and this will be needed for may be long time.
2. We do not want people to roam around: so need easily accessible healthcare in their nearby.

Both this challenges can be easily met with robust and efficient primary care.

The intent of this article is to show torchlight to the society and planners to re look at the way they deal with primary care.Need is to plan and promote it properly and secondly I wanted to thank you to my family physician colleagues, any where in the system, government or private to keep up the good work that they are doing now and always.

Let’s take a pledge and make a society, where everyone has a family doctor, making healthcare the way it should be: Good quality, easy to access and yet affordable.
Thanks you.

Dr.Pragnesh Vachharajani
Family physician, Ahmedabad
Joint Secretary, federation of family physicians of India
Secretary, Gujarat state family physicians` forum
Past president, IMA, Ahmedabad.

(Views expressed here are personal)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What to do when someone is suddenly seriously ill in your family?

*How to handle emergency @home or office?*

People are always confused and frightened when some mishap happens at home and often precious time is wasted due to ignorance.

What to do when you feel this is a medical emergency like(this are some of the common examples):

1. Someone become unconsciousness or seems like that
2. Sudden chest pain with lots of perspiration, feeling uncomfortable
3. Having difficulty in breathing
4. seems not responding well 
Or other unusual symptoms

What to do? First thing first.

1.    Call for medical help, Call ambulance-108
2.    Call for medical help, Call ambulance-108
3.    Call for medical help, Call ambulance-108-(This is not a repetition by mistake but intentionally written thrice to understand its importance)

4.    Then talk to your family physician or first contact point doctor and seek guidance on what to do.

5.    Go to a fully equipped nearby hospital- Do not opt for best, save time at least for primary assessment choose the nearest first.(preferably you can map healthcare facilities in your area is you are already having some patient at home who may need emergency care)

6.    Do not insist or wait for your doctor to visit your home in such circumstances. Time is important, waiting for doctor may lead loss of precious time in emergency.
7.    Do not try to give anything by mouth if patient dose not seems to be fully conscious
8.    Check blood sugar if patient is having diabetes
9.    Check blood pressure if you have facility at home
10. Keep treatment papers ready in mean time.

Wishing you good health

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Happy and Healthy Vacation

This post may sound  bit early I know but some of the schools are already having vacation some will have soon.

I still remember and cherish memories of vacation that we used to have.

No restrictions, No vacation classes, No study in vacation, No hobby classes, And free roaming around with cousins without wires.

Today vacation has become headache for parents and kids. Lets try to look at the solutions and make this vacation enjoyable for all.


Activities are good and it will keep them occupied and help them  learn something creative and innovative but..............

  • Every parent wants their kids to fulfill their dreams of activities that they could not do. May it be swimming, playing cricket etc. 

  • Dear Please remember your kids are not your miniature. They  can have different inclination and totally different hobbies and interest.

  • Please do not force them or tie them in routine schedule of "another school" that is activity class.
  • Promote them to engage in group activities, which  makes their sharing and caring skill sharp. In this era of selfishness they must learn joy of giving ,caring and sharing. 
  • Encourage outdoor activities in early morning and evening.
  • Screen-TV,Mobile etc is unavoidable. What ever you do they will hang on it. Just keep an eye on what they are watching or doing and do educate them about using this gadgets and sharing personal information on various websites and social networking sites. Still try to restrict such usage about 1-2 hours a day.
  • Play with them some old games,this will give connect and engage them 


A big headache in vacation and at times night mare for mothers.

Because when they are free,they will frequently ask for food and that too tasty.

It has been seen and obvious that everyone prefer to have food that is tasty, looking attractive and having good smell.

What to do ?

Try to do some home work, discuss with friends, family and social circle and try to learn something new.

Make sure the things that you make looks and smells good. Plenty of options to find out good recipes now internet and other resources.

Restrict junk food, if they are old enough engage  then in cooking.

Let them understand value of food, its importance. 

Take them with you for shopping of vegetables,fruits and other things.

Summer is here, so you can offer them variety coolers, juices, butter milk etc and of course plenty of liquids.

Avoid packets,they are attractive, easily available but not good for health. Try to educate them.

Vacation is always good time to visit places. May be relatives or just explore new places.

Make them responsible, take their help in packing,planning and arranging travel.

Let them me do some preliminary survey about places to be visited and learn historic aspects of that place. Young minds are curious , let them be.

During vacation restrict use of mobiles etc. You might also need to avoid temptation of using mobile while enjoying with family. There is no logic of everyone occupied with mobile on vacation. 


Vacation is good time finish pending vaccines. When kids grow older  there are certain important vaccines are required. Please visit your family doctor, discuss and get them vaccinated .

I hope with this suggestions you have will happy and healthy vacation.