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News - 2006

The Hindu, Tuesday, December 12, 2006 – Ensuring quality healthcare to rural people at a low cost

An attempt is being made to extend telemedicine facility to all taluk centres

In an attempt to bring quality healthcare to rural areas, efforts are being made to extend telemedicine facility to all taluk centres in the State.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and the State Health Department would take part in the efforts to extend telemedicine facility to rural areas being planned by TeleVial. The facility would not only enable villagers to have consultation with leading specialists but would also bring down the cost considerably. Telemedicine facility has been extended to all districts by connecting government and private hospitals in the State. The facility would also help in the proper maintenance of medical records of patients and creating awareness on various medical issues.


According to president of TeleVital, Shivaram Malavalli, BSNL would provide links to these areas under a highly subsidised cost. IT is being taken up under the public private partnership.

He said that "as many as 27 government district hospitals and more than 20 leading private hospitals, including Manipal Hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya, are participating the programme."

The decision to extend the facility to rural areas, he said, had been taken following its success at the district-level. Giving an illustration, Prof. Shivaram said, "Residents of several remote villages in Chamarajanagar district bordering Tamil Nadu, had been visiting Banglore and Mysore to avail themselves of healthcare. But with the advent of telemedicine, they are able to have consultation with leading specialists with out meeting them."

Prof. Shivram said, "Though the efficacy of telemedicine had been questioned in the inital days, it had come to be accepted now. Today, beneficiaries who cannot access the healthcare system in their area are getting 24/7 medical services, albeit vertually."

REACHING OUT : A file photo of Deviprasad Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya interacting with the Sargur remote centre during the launch of a telemedicine project.


A telemedicine facility was inaugurated at Indus International School here on Monday by entrepreneur and Indus Trustee Kumar Malavalli.

The telemedicine link has been provided between Indus International School and Manipal Hospital for the benefit of over 600 students of the school besides throwing open the facility to the neighbouring villages free.

Mr. Kumar Malavalli said that the facility could avoid travel time by at least two hours, which was crucial in healthcare.

According to Chief Executive OFficer Indus Trust, Lt Gen. (Retd.) Arjun Roy, nearly 10,000 residents of Billapura, Kotaganahalli, Tavakanahalli, Handanahalli and Kallahalli villages near Sarjapura would benefit from the facility.