Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, visited the eSanjeevani teleconsultation facility at the CGHS headquarters here today (January 14). The Union Health Minister physically witnessed the sessions where consulting doctors provided teleconsultation. Patients inquired about ailments such as fever, runny nose, body ache, and what tests they should get done. This also included an elderly cardiac patient who could not go out of home for medical consultation. The consulting doctor prescribed the necessary medical tests and reviewed the medicine being taken by the beneficiary. Noting that going to a doctor is not always possible during the pandemic, the Union Minister said, "In pandemic situations like Covid, tele-consultation is a boon specially for primary health care."
Appreciating the healthcare services being provided through the digital platform of teleconsultation, Dr Mandaviya noted that "E-Sanjeevani is a revolution in the health sector in the country. It is providing affordable and accessible health care as envisioned by the Prime Minister". He reiterated that in yesterday's review meeting with Chief Ministers of States, the prime minister highlighted that telemedicine facilities would help a great deal in providing healthcare services to the needy.
He added that "people in many states have been quick to recognise the benefits of eSanjeevani, and this has led to an encouraging trend of widespread rapid adoption of this digital modality of seeking health services. Patients consult with doctors and specialists on a daily basis using this innovative digital medium to seek health services." Dr Mandaviya also stated that "use of this platform is addressing the shortage of doctors and specialists at ground level while reducing the burden on secondary and tertiary level hospitals. He added that it is also plugging the digital health divide that exists in urban and rural India.
The Health Minister recommended the doctors to seek consultation with subject experts and specialists through the hub-spoke model. Dr Mandaviya said that the Government is committed to creating more hubs and spokes across the country. Dr Mandaviya interacted with Bhaskar Katamneni MD, NHM from Andhra Pradesh, the state which is leading in terms of the number of teleconsultations. He briefed the Union Minister on the state's innovative steps to enhance the basket of services being provided to the beneficiaries. Commissioner, Health, Karnataka also briefed the Union Health Minister on the innovative steps initiated by the state government to provide better quality health services.
eSanjeevani, the national Telemedicine Service of the Government of India, is a technological intervention conceptualised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and designed, implemented and operationalised byC-DAC, which leverages Information Technology to enable remote doctor consultations. It has been deployed in two modes: eSanjeevaniAB-HWC: A Doctor-to-Doctor telemedicine system under Ayushman Bharat Scheme at Health & Wellness Centres, to provide specialised health services in rural areas and isolated communities. The second model is eSanjeevaniOPD: A Patient-to-Doctor telemedicine system to enable people to get outpatient services in the confines of their homes.
eSanjeevaniAB-HWC has accounted for over 1.60 crore consultations. Currently, around 33,297 Health and Wellness Centres acting as 'Spokes' are aligned to over 2991'Hubs' of District Hospitals and Medical Colleges. eSanjeevaniOPD platform has served over 65 lakh patients in 35 States/UTs. Over 1,10,988 doctors and paramedics have been trained and onboarded so far. 664 online OPDs have been set up on eSanjeevaniOPD, and a total of 2.17 crore (2,17,60,433) teleconsultations have been done to date. Over 1,10,000 patients are served through eSanjeevani on a daily basis, establishing itself as a parallel stream of healthcare services delivery. Women have taken 53% of the consultations.
eSanjeevani has led to massive improvement in access to specialised health services, particularly in rural areas. This service has come in handy for the patients in urban areas as well, especially during the second wave of the ongoing pandemic that has burdened the healthcare services delivery system in the country. Teleconsultation services cover the gamut across specialities of medicine, orthopaedics, ENT and ophthalmology, and psychiatry. Some states have extended the service to old age homes, orphanages, and jail inmates.
Smt Arti Ahuja, AS, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, JS, Health Ministry and other senior officials of the Ministry were present at the event. (PIB)