FU­TURE OF IN­DIAN HEALTH­CARE

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hubs across the coun­try and has roped in In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) to pro­vide satel­lite links to con­nect the telemedicine cen­tres to hos­pi­tals in Delhi, Chandi­garh, Srinagar and Puducherry. The min­istry is tak­ing ser­vices of ISRO in hilly ar­eas where there is poor cell­phone cov­er­age.

The Health Min­istry has been mak­ing use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy (ICT) to achieve uni­ver­sal health­care out­reach of ser­vices and striv­ing to­wards reach­ing the goal of vir­tual health­care for all. The pri­mary fo­cus of such ini­tia­tives is to pro­vide health­care ac­ces­si­bil­ity in dis­tant, in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and pil­grim­age cen­tres to meet the health needs of pop­u­la­tion.

Con­sid­er­ing the short­age of doc­tors in re­mote in­ac­ces­si­ble and ru­ral ar­eas of the coun­try, the min­istry has been tak­ing steps to reach the un­reached ar­eas via util­i­sa­tion of telemedicine plat­form through satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with De­part­ment of Space for pro­vid­ing cit­i­zen-cen­tric tele-health­care ser­vices by set­ting up telemedicine nodes at var­i­ous ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Chard­hams and other im­por­tant pil­grim­age cen­tres like Amar­nath, Ayappa and Kedar­nath.

The telemedicine fa­cil­ity was also started dur­ing Simhasth Kumbh Mela in Uj­jain. Though it was for the time that such fa­cil­ity was started dur­ing a Kumbh Mela, where devo­tees visit in lakhs each day, the telemedicine ser­vice was a great hit. The project was im­ple­mented by the Na­tional Re­source Cen­tre, SGPGI, Luc­know in col­lab­o­ra­tion with De­vel­op­ment Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Unit (DECU), In­dian Space Re­search Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ISRO), Ah­mad­abad. The tele­con­sul­ta­tion ser­vices was be­ing pro­vided from AI­IMS, Bhopal and SGPGI, Luc­know doc­tors from 9.30 am to 6.00 p.m. Thou­sands of devo­tees took the ben­e­fit of it, which was op­er­a­tional from April 22, 2016.

All es­tab­lished telemedicine cen­tres con­sist of a very small aper­ture ter­mi­nal (VSAT)

The Union Min­is­ter for Health & Fam­ily Wel­fare, Shri J.P. Nadda in­au­gu­rat­ing the new health fa­cil­i­ties to im­prove qual­ity of health­care ser­vices, at PGIMER, Chandi­garh

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