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‘Tech Adoption and Physical Infra Investment in Health Sector Should Go Hand in Hand’

Katamneni Bhaskar

Katamneni Bhaskar, Commissioner and Mission Director for National Health Mission at the Department of Medical, Health & Family Welfare, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, highlights the role of physical infrastructure amid intense focus on technology adoption in the country’s health sector.

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The adoption of technology and investment in physical infrastructure in the country’s health sector should go hand in hand, said Katamneni Bhaskar, Commissioner and Mission Director for National Health Mission at the Department of Medical, Health & Family Welfare, the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He was speaking at the second edition of Elets Digital Health Conclave.

“Technology is helping us to take the services to those areas and sectors that were not accessing those services, and now we are able to multiply the same resources by using technologies. But, the healthcare sector is one where technology will take us only to an extent and not all the way because I think that this sector is the last one, where the human interface will become negligible. Patients expect a doctor’s physical presence and they want the reassurance of a doctor because it is the patient’s health which is at stake,” Bhaskar remarked.

He also observed, “There is a need to invest in the health sector across the country as our investment in the healthcare structure has been grossly inadequate. This was evident as the country realised that its oxygen infrastructure was not up to the mark, the number of beds available was broadly inadequate and the manpower required grossly adequate.” He added, “We use technology to a large extent to ensure that services are given to the patients as far as possible using the different kinds of platforms emerged, including testing part which enabled us to know who is tested positive and in which part of the country. We were able to use that data to track their primary and secondary contacts and put them in isolation and hospitals.”

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Having said that, he added, “care there was inequality in terms of human resources which was seen in the second wave and all we tried to overcome it by recruiting huge manpower.” Informing about the role of the Andhra Pradesh government during the Covid-19, he said, “We recruited 12,000 professionals in the public healthcare sector during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also set up 14 medical colleges in Andhra Pradesh, he said at the inaugural session attended by Abhishek Singh, CEO, MyGov; President & CEO, National eGovernance Division; and MD & CEO, Digital India Corporation, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Dr Seema Khanna, Deputy DG, (Scientist-G) at National Informatics Centre, and Dr Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy CEO, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, National Health Authority.

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