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Telemedicine centres in rural areas: Venkaiah

The Union government is setting up telemedicine centres in rural areas for virtual consultation with specialists and a new Online Registration System (ORS) portal has been launched to link hospitals nationwide for Aadhaar-based online appointments for consultations, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.

Telemedicine centres in rural areas: Venkaiah
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Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu

Chennai

Delivering the 25th convocation address of Sri Ramachandra University here, he said it would make OPD appointments, lab reports, blood availability status in any government hospitals accessible online. 

Naidu said the Centre will also start ‘doctor on call’ 24X7 national health helpline for medical queries. It is yet to be approved by the competent authority. Overall digital India project will come as a big boost to healthcare, he added. 

The Minister said while India and Chennai have a reputation as a medical tourism destination, for our own people we have only one allopathic doctor for 1, 668 people. NITI Aayog has recommended opening 187 more medical colleges by 2022 to reach the WHO norm of one doctor per 1,000 people. While women constitute 51 per cent of medical students in graduate courses, when it comes to post graduate courses the percentage is very low, Venkaiah said. He also regretted that both doctors and patients are overtly getting dependent on technology. Therefore, there is pressure to recommend unnecessary diagnostic tests which is pushing up the cost of healthcare, he said. 

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