Karnataka govt gears up to provide telemedicine consultation at all its 2,346 PHCs & 326 CHCs

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The Karnataka government is now working to provide telemedicine consultation at all the 2,346 primary health centres (PHCs) and 326 community health centres (CHCs) to begin with. It will then focus on the 8,871 sub-centres across the 30 districts in the state. The move is expected to bolster patient care with faster access to treatment.

The government is now increasingly focusing on digital healthcare pathways and telemedicine is opted to remotely diagnose and treat the patients. The government is also adopting teleradiology with which radiologists based out of control centres in Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute will remotely study the x-ray reports of the patients, said Karnataka minister for health and family welfare KR Ramesh Kumar.

The state is now working to do its maiden pilot project which will be done in Lingasur Primary Health Centre and six district hospitals. This is an innovative scheme which will help us to offset the shortfall of radiologists which is currently a great concern. We need the expertise of radiologists to read a simple x-ray report for any diagnosis, he added.

Our department of health and family welfare, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tata Trusts and Tata Consultancy Services to implement a Digital Nerve Centre (DiNC). The technology initiative which the government wants to adopt after seeing the success in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) tracks the treatment history of patients and helps them get time for appointments and treatment, said the Minister.

The state government has now revised its deadline to offer free dialysis services to October 2 as part of the Gandhi Jayanti. It was actually supposed to kick-off the service to the growing kidney failure patients in the state on August 15 in 65 taluk hospitals. Now we are steering efforts to ensure that by November 1st on the occasion of the statehood of Karnataka we will be able to commission this free dialysis to the remaining medical centres, Kumar said.

Delving on the much debated Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, he said that the Joint Legislature Committee is studying the controversial amendments and arrive at a suitable decision at the earliest, Kumar added.

There is a need for a few more meetings to finalise the legislation. In June the Amendment Bill indicated the fixing of rates for various procedures in private hospitals. But the thorn in the flesh was that for private hospitals pressing the issue that the government has omitted the public medical facilities from the ambit of this landmark legislation, he said.

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