Highlighting the role that teleconsultation has played to serve the people in far-off places as well as Covid patients in home isolation, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday asked the states and the union territories to focus more on such services for better public health management.
Stressing the role that teleconsultation and telemedicine have played in the country to serve the far-flung regions and those in home isolation, Mandaviya advised the states to focus on ramping up opening of more teleconsultation centres as part of the ‘Hub and Spoke Model’ for better public health management, a statement issued by the Health Ministry said.
“The teleconsultation centres will help us not only during the COVID pandemic but also for non-COVID medical care,” he said. The minister was speaking after holding a meeting with the states on virtual format.
Kerala informed the meeting that non-Covid medical care for cancer, diabetes management, mental health etc were also provided through telemedicine centres to those in home isolation who could not access the institutional facilities, the statement said.
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which have shown good progress in eSanjeevani with very large number of tele-consultations, were appreciated for their efforts, it said. Mandaviya underlined the importance of sturdy and resilient health infrastructure and the ECRP-II package under which the funds have been provided to states and UTs and said they need to be utilised before March 31.
“While some states have expedited effective utilisation of the approved funds for health infra creation, other states may also review the physical and financial progress under ECRP-II and expedite the progress,” he said. Mandaviya reiterated that the five-fold strategy of 'Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate & Adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour' along with effective surveillance of cases remains crucial for COVID-19 management.
The states and UTs were advised to keep a close watch on the emerging clusters and hotspots. Those states which have reported lower share of RTPCR in Covid testing were advised to review the same, the statement said. They were also advised that adequate and timely testing will help in prompt identification of the infected cases and prevention of a sudden surge, it said.
Assuring states of all support from the Centre in their efforts for Covid response and management, the Union health minister urged them to provide data on time as it will lead to more sturdy and efficient policymaking. Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar encouraged the states to fully utilise the ECRP-II funds.
She urged the states and the UTs to strengthen laboratories, place timely purchase orders of medicines in case of shortages, expedite commissioning of PSA plants and open more teleconsultation centres. She highlighted that teleconsultation will help in treating patients in the future and emphasised on the need to give special attention to co-morbid patients, the statement said.
With inputs from PTI.