e-Governance: e-Hope in Health Care
Intro: Since health is more important than wealth my administration would be 100 per cent transparent.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (Union Health Minister)
Dr Harsh Vardhan, the new Union Health Minister, has promised “100 per cent” transparent administration. He intends to bring in new Information Technology systems and take advice from domestic and international experts on ways to improve the health system in the country. Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that his focus will be on bringing more e-Governance to the health care sector. “My administration would be 100 per cent transparent,” he said. “Health is more important than wealth.” An ENT surgeon by training, Dr Harsh Vardhan was the first Health Minister of the Delhi Government from 1993 to 1998. Health care is an area where most Indians, especially those living in small towns and rural areas face lots of difficulties.
With the new BJP led government in place, people in this country expect all kinds of improvements in the health care sector. The cost of treatments and medical procedures should come down, and there should be more efficiency. It is also important for health care services, at least the most common ones, to be available in every part of the country.
The Department of Health & Family welfare in Gujarat has implemented the internationally acclaimed Health Management Information System (HMIS) project to ensure that there is quality and transparency in the health care services being provided to the people in all parts of the State. The system ensures online review and monitoring, and helps the administrators in having a clear view of the functioning of hospitals across the State, it is also helpful for the doctors and medical staff in improving health services by making use of easily available patient data, work flow enabled less-paper process and parameterised alarms and triggers during patient treatment cycle.
The fact is that all hospitals are unique; their infrastructure and needs depend on the local health care conditions, the spending power of the people and the manpower, in terms of doctors, nurses, administrators, etc., that are available to take care of the work. The good thing about HMIS is that it is an end-to-end solution for the health care industry; it offers each hospital the flexibility of choosing from various modules as per its needs. HMIS also provides multiple levels of security in the software to ensure that the patient related data remains secured.
Even the work that has been done by Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat is commendable and can be replicated across the country. Anyone in need of bottle of blood can find help by the click of a mouse thanks to the efforts of FDCA, which has uploaded the details of all blood banks across the State on its website (xlnfda.guj.nic.in). The website also gives details of number of units of blood of each group available with every blood bank. The address of the blood bank along with the contact details of the concerned person is also available online. The website also allows for district and city-wise search based on blood group. The site will also show the number of units of blood that each of these blood banks has. What is more interesting is that the data are updated twice every day.
The Gujarat FDCA is doing a better job than its counterparts in other states. This is borne out by the fact that the average failure ratio of drugs made in Gujarat was lower at 3.5 to 4 per cent compared to an overall average of around 5-6 per cent. Around 20 per cent of the FDCA approved plants in the country are in Gujarat, and the State enjoys a similar share in terms of India's drug exports to the US.