Through openness towards newer technologies & partnership models, Rajasthan has already established milestones in the healthcare sector. In order to ensure better management of not just medical devices but also of data and findings, the Government of Rajasthan has intelligently leveraged technology to make services much better and easier to access. Interestingly, its key healthcare initiatives, such as e-Upkaran, Jeevan Vahini, Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, etc. are steps that can prove a point of reference for other states, shares Rajendra Singh Rathore, Medical, Health & Family Welfare Minister, Government of Rajasthan, in an exclusive interview with Kartik Sharma and Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN)
Rajasthan has been the hub of innovation and in last 1 year, many new innovations have been done. What is your take on this?
Our Government has been in power for last 2.5 years. And, as a Medical, Health & Family Welfare Minister, I am aware of the priorities of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is the biggest state of India from the geographical point of view and we have 7.5 crore people living here. Information technology (IT) in healthcare is a need for us and our team at the National Health Mission (NHM) is doing a great job. Since your last health summit, we have undertaken some new measures. We have introduced Kuposhan Watch and mobile applications for recording the inspections of officials. We have done e-Upkaran for biomedical maintenance and also introduced Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana. We have also introduced an integrated ambulance system called Jeevan Vahini which is first-of-itskind in India.
In your earlier answer you mentioned about Kuposhan Watch and mobile applications. Can you please throw some light on them?
Kuposhan Watch is a software that is used at malnutrition treatments centres (MTCs). We have around 40 big MTCs where malnourished children come from far-flung villages in Jaipur. Since we were not able to know details regarding the total number of children visiting the centres, getting good treatment and going away with some benefits, Kuposhan Watch was introduced to keep a watch on such details. Currently, this software is doing fine and we hope to improve it further.
Additionally, Mobile Saghan Nirikshan Abhiyaan (MSNA) is a mobile application downloaded by our officials at both district and state levels. Whenever these officials will go to primary health centres (PHCs) and sub-centres, they are required to record their findings in the app. By this way, we have done away with paperwork. As a result, we are likely to witness the entire culture of paperless office. The findings once recorded are analysed by our development partners. Based on the findings and analysis, we take key decisions. In last 6 months, more than 15,000 inspections have been done all over Rajasthan.
e-Upkaran was showcased at the National Summit in Tirupati and many states have showcased interest in doing similar innovations. Please walk us through the key benefits of e-Upkaran?
Rajasthan is a big state and we have around 3,000 institutions, ranging from primary health centres (PHCs) to medical colleges. We also have a lot of medical devices. Therefore, there is a need to create a system to use and maintain medical equipment in a good way. Whenever there is a breakdown, a helpline should be available to access repair and maintenance services. e-Upkaran system will ensure the above. We have made the software with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation (RMSC) has been given the responsibility of handling the day-to-day management of this project.
On 13th December 2015, Rajasthan became one of the states to launch healthcare insurance scheme called Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana. Can you please throw some light on the scheme?
Our honorable Chief Minister in her budget announcement had declared that Rajasthan state will have a very comprehensive and ambitious insurance scheme for the poor people. We have taken beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) as the beneficiary. We have given them protection against more than 1,700 types of disease packages. Additionally, in case of general diseases, there is a package of Rs 30,000 and in case of critical illness, the package goes up to Rs 3,00,000. As of my knowledge, no state has given this much of coverage to its public. Therefore, Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana is a unique scheme and is to a large extent extremely practical. We have kept it cashless, which means patients have to not pay anything. Since 9 months of its launch, the scheme has been doing extremely well and has claimed more than Rs 200 crore.
What are your future plans for the department?
Though we are still experimenting a lot with information technology (IT), the next phase of experimentation will be mobile technology. Everybody is talking about the extensive use of mobile in day-to-day life of the Indian population. I have instructed my department to create such platforms where a poor man with a mobile can access a lot of healthcare services and information about diseases, hospitals and other related matters. Hopefully, we will be able to achieve by next year when you come for the next health summit.