The Government of Puducherry has taken a slew of measures pertaining to telemedicine enabling masses to avail accessible affordable healthcare services across the UT especially in rural areas. Here are brief details about two initiatives Health Kiosk and e-Sanjeevani:
The Department of Health and Family welfare services, Government of Puducherry has signed a Memorendum of Understanding (MoU) with NGO named GCARE Diabetes Council in the 1st week of June, 2019. As per the agreement, NGO will install the health kiosk machine at all the identified Ayushman Bharat -Health and Wellness Centre.
As per the guidelines of the Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centre initiative, it is mandatory to establish telemedicine services at all the health facilities. In addition, a hub for telemedicine has to be functional at every district.
The G Care Diabetes Council provides the Health Kiosk Machine where 13 parameters including laboratory investigations will be kept in all Primary Health Centres and identified sub-centres, wherever space is available for 120 sq feet. The investigations are done free of cost.
The NGO has installed the kiosk machine at different centres including PHC Kosapalayam, Nettapakkam and Lawspet of Puducherry and Sub-Centre Kanakalapetta, Dhariyaladhippa &Savitri Nagar of Yanam region. At these centres, telemedicine services have been implemented to provide quality care to people at large.
e-Sanjeevani software is a web-based comprehensive telemedicine solution. A total of 121 Health & Wellness Centres (HWC) have been approved in UT of Puducherry.
Out of that 40 of them are level II (HWC-PHC) facilities and 81 Level III (HWC-SC) under Telemedicine service network of AB-HWC.
A total of 40 level II (HWC-PHC) facilities have been equipped with Desktop Computer and internet connectivity, while remaining 81 Level III’s Desktop Computer procurement, and 121 Audio Visual equipment are under progress.
As per the instructions of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), JIPMER has been identified as the tele-education provider to Puducherry under National Medical College Network. JIPMER has designated as hub to the telemedicine network for UT of Puducherry, hence the proposal for the establishment of hub in JIPMER has been initiated.
The last mile connectivity to the HWC (SC) and engagement of specialists on daily remuneration basis at the hub level have been proposed in the supplementary PIP of 2019-20 FY.
The consultation of specialists under district hospital level has been discussed with MoHFW and it has been suggested that, the pilot progress of implementation of telemedicine can be done by the hubs identified under NMCN.
Currently, due to non-availability of the Audio – Visual equipment (USB Web Camera, Headphone & Mike), the tele-consultation, e-prescription, offline & online facilities and other features rather than the live video interaction of e-Sanjeevani portal, is going to be utilised.
The pilot project of telemedicine service will be implemented in co-ordination with JIPMER after discussion.
(Writer is Dr. S. Mohankumar, Mission Director, UT of Puducherry.)