More than 1,500 patients in the remote areas of the region have benefited from the PGI’s expertise through its telemedicine project. A similar project in the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32, however, remains a non-starter when it comes to individual cases. It has been nearly four months since the telemedicine project was inaugurated at the GMCH. The hospital, which continues to be without super-specialty departments and refers patients to the PGI on a regular basis, says its emphasis is academic and research discussions with the PGI through the project. GMCH-32 and the PGI were digitally linked in February, with a promise that the link will ensure GMCH doctors will consult experts at the PGI in complicated cases. The GMCH’s link was inaugurated just a few weeks after Punjab Health Minister Dr Lakshmi Kanta Chawla had inaugurated the telemedicine link between the Civil Hospital, Mohali, and the PGI. According to the latest data of telemedicine cases, the Mohali hospital has consulted the PGI on 30 cases in the last four months, while the GMCH has not sent even a single case so far for consultation. Since the launch of the telemedicine project, most cases have come from different centres of Punjab. The Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla consulted the PGI on 17 cases, while the PGI-Rohtak used the service in 14 cases. Two cases came for consultation from the Srinagar Medical College. “Ever since the two hospitals were linked, the GMCH-32 has focused more on airing the clinicopathology conference report, in which the faculty discusses a particular case for academic and research purposes,” said an official involved with the telemedicine project. GMCH Director Prof Raj Bahadur said: “Consultation of the patients through telemedicine is just a part of the project. We are focusing on letting our faculty and students gain through the clinicopathology conferences held at the PGI. We will take up individual cases as and when required.”

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