Bangladesh introduces telehealth services

From February onwards, the Bangladesh government will have in place “Telehealth Care Services” at every public hospital in the country. The aim of this project is to make healthcare available to everyone in the country. Md Abul Faiz, Director General of Health Services under Bangladesh’s Health Ministry, said that all public hospitals at the country’s 481 sub-districts will be provided with logistics including mobile phones for establishing a telehealth care centre. Faiz says, “With this system in place, the government will be able to provide medical care closer to home for all.” Doctors will be on duty in each unit of telehealth centres to receive phone calls from patients and administer treatment. This service is expected to benefit more than half of Bangladesh’s 144 million citizens who do not have access to healthcare facilities due to poverty. This service will be provided free-of-charge and the telehealth centres will be open for 24 hours. These telehealth centres will also be used to spread awareness on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which is estimated to cost 59 per cent of deaths in the country in 2010 as compared to 40 per cent in 1990.

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