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Q.4241: TELEMEDICINE PROGRAMME

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    Parliament Questions and Answers
    GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
    MINISTRY OF SPACE
    LOK SABHA
    UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 4241
    ANSWERED ON 02.05.2012

    Shri SHASHI THAROOR

    Will the Minister of SPACE be pleased to state:-

    (a) the status of ISRO`s telemedicine programme including the States where it is not prevalent;

    (b) the major services provided under the programme;

    (c) the total financial outlay earmarked for the programme;

    (d) whether safeguards have been put in place to ensure trained healthcare professional follow the advice received from remotely located doctors correctly and if so, the details thereof?

    ANSWER: MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PG & PENSIONS AND IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE (SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY):

    (a) Under the Telemedicine Programme of ISRO, telemedicine facility has been established at 382 hospitals in the country (60 speciality hospitals,306 rural/district hospitals, 16 telemedicine mobile vans), covering most of the states/ union territories including Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern States, Lakshdweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The satellite bandwidth for telemedicine programme is provided on INSAT-3A and GSAT-12 satellites. Telemedicine Programme is not prevalent in the States of Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

    (b) The major services provided under the programme include regular tele-consultations in the area of General Medicine, Cardiology, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Neurology, Oncology, Diabetics, Women and Child healthcare. Telemedicine facility is also used for providing continuing medical education to the health professionals in rural/remote hospitals to get their knowledge updated.

    (c) The budget for ISRO’s Telemedicine Programme is met from the annual budget of Department of Space. The budget proposed under 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) for telemedicine programme is Rs.300.00 Crore and the outlay earmarked for the year 2012-13 is Rs.11.12 Crore.

    (d) As a measure of safeguard, the telemedicine services are provided through well trained doctors at the patient-end hospitals such as rural/district hospitals. During tele-consultation, the patient data and the treatment prescription are exchanged electronically using telemedicine software which is based on international standards with adequate data security and integrity features such as Health Level 7 (HL7) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). The patient data and the treatment prescriptions are also stored in telemedicine servers. The doctors and specialists follow the set guidelines of medical practices for providing tele-consultations as they do for in-person consultations. The hospitals where the specialists give consultations are carefully chosen and the doctors are well qualified.

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