National Rural Telemedicine Network
Telemedicine has proved to be a viable method which helps to decrease health care costs and is working in many countries. In India, there have been attempts which have worked in isolated pockets, mostly through the Government, more on the push of Department of IT as well as ISRO which is providing the funds.
As costs savings are enormous – Telemedicine Centre at C-DAC Mohali is one of the systems capable of providing the high quality health care to the far reaches of the country. With the help of telemedicine, we are planning a system which shall provide quality and cheap health care to the needy population utilizing existing health care providers in the private sector.
As soon as there are any problems, the patient is asked to go to a higher centre which can be anywhere between 5 to 1500 kms away. A patient who is paying from his own pocket has to keep money aside for the following:-
- to the higher centre Patient + Relatives
- Cost of hospitalization and procedure
- Accommodation of relatives
- Transportation back
If there is a reasonable chance that these costs can be saved, the patient would be willing to pay a small fee. Between 50 - 70% of patients being referred to major centers did not really need to travel all the way as no such procedure is performed which cannot be done in a smaller less costly setup close to the patients' residence.
Thus, telemedicine can bring out real cost savings and can be made into an economically viable preposition just by saving unnecessary transportation of sick patients.
- which provides the patient online consultations, works up patients in its own small centre and sends patients for procedures only to the higher centre as and when unavoidable, and helps conduct the follow up too can be a economically viable centre which will provide yeoman service to the community as well as help in providing all levels of quality healthcare to the rural population.