Telemedicine platform launched

Telemedicine platform launched
Pangnyu Phom with health officials launching the ‘Naga Telehealth’.
Correspondent KOHIMA, SEP 9 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/9/2020 1:09:10 PM IST

As COVID pandemic posed many challenges before the public healthcare system, including disruption of essential health services on a daily basis, the State government has now come up with telemedicine service “Naga Telehealth” to ensure continuity of essential services to people across the State. 

Developed in partnership with USAID’s flagship health system strengthening project NISHTHA, implemented by Jhpiego, the platform was formally launched by Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) minister, S. Pangnyu Phom at his office chamber here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Pangnyu asserted that during this “challenging times” Naga Telehealth was as an innovative technology-based solution for service delivery to people in need, especially to families and communities living in remote areas.

He said the platform would help people living in remote areas to have access to qualified doctors for general and specialist consultations, adding that platform would be available across all health and wellness centre (HWCs) in the State through a hub-and-spoke model to reach the catchment population.

The minister exuded confidence that with this important initiative, the State would be able to ensure that quality and affordable healthcare services reached everyone, irrespective of where they lived, even as he thanked USAID’s NISHTHA for supporting this important scheme. 

In his keynote address, mission director of National Health Mission Dr Medikhru Kevichusa said Naga Telehealth would provide quality healthcare services at Ayushman Bharat-HWCs, adding the service would be launched in a phased manner.

Explaining that currently the service was being rolled out at 82 sub health centres (SHCs), which would be connected to medical officers of primary health centres (PHCs) and districts for general tele-consultation, Kevichusa informed the gathering that there was also a provision for referral and tele-consultation with specialist doctors with support from Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research (CIHSR).

With this extended support, he claimed Nagaland would be able to fulfil the conditionality criteria laid by Government of India for the Ayushman Bharat-HWCs.

In his brief address, H&FW secretary Wezope Kenye said the telemedicine service would be an enabling tool to maintain patient continuity, management of patients and also ensure continuity of essential health services during emergencies like COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged all chief health officers (CHOs) and auxiliary nurse midwife (ANMs) to make use of this platform to ensure that people living in remote areas are always able to avail the services of trained and qualified doctors.

USAID director and health officer Sangeeta Patel, in her address, emphasized strengthening primary healthcare through health and wellness centres.

She said the platform would create an affordable and accessible primary healthcare system, which would help in preparing and managing future public health threats and improve health outcomes of the marginalised and vulnerable sections of society. 

The programme was chaired by State’s telemedicine nodal officer Dr Manyau Phom.

According to HWC programme officer RK Pairson, Naga Telehealth will be rolled out in a phased manner and cover the targeted HWCs in the financial year 2020-21.

Mon medical college to cost Rs.323 crore 

Following the Health ministry’s approval to setup the Government Medical College (GMC) in Mon district, Health minister S. Pangnyu Phom said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was under preparation and it would be submitted to Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan very soon.

Interacting with media persons, Pangnyu said the estimated cost of the medical college was pegged at Rs 323 crore. He said sanction was expected by November, after which the foundation stone would be laid in December and construction would begin immediately thereafter.

Though not yet finalised, he said discussion was on to have the construction of the proposed medical college on a public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

The site proposed for setting up the college was 8 km away from Mon town, he added.


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