Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala on Monday launched a pilot project on telemedicine services, to be operated by AIIMS Raipur through the National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC).

The services would be for members of the fisheries cooperatives under the central sector flagship program Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), a release from the Ministry said.

Members of fisheries cooperatives in Chhattisgarh would now be able to consult doctors from AIIMS, Raipur for their medical needs.

Rupala, while handing over a cheque for Rs 50 lakh to Director and CEO of AIIMS, Raipur, Dr Nitin M. Nagarkar, to kickstart the pilot project, said, “This would ensure that members of the fisheries cooperatives in Chhattisgarh, whenever in medical need, will be able to approach health specialists of AIIMS, Raipur, from their remote locations through telemedicine facility.”

“Telehealth services have tremendous potential in our country where healthcare facilities are heavily concentrated in urban areas while those in the remote villages and coastal areas remain deprived of such benefits,” he added.

“The project is a way forward towards achieving Digital India Mission as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a pandemic-affected world, technology-enabled services, including telehealth, have become more relevant than ever,” Rupala asserted.

Proposed as a startup activity by AIIMS, Raipur for next three years, the project is being launched in a pilot mode from five Primary Health Centres (PHCs) namely PHC Patan (Durg district), PHC Saja (Bemetara), PHC Ratanpur (Bilaspur), PHC Dhamtari (Chamtari) and AIIMS Raipur (Raipur).

It is a joint initiative of the Central Government, Government of Chhattisgarh, NCDC and AIIMS, Raipur, the release said.

Later on, more districts will be covered under the project.

With the launch of the facilities, the government aims to bridge health disparities among fishermen and fisherwomen community associated with their respective cooperatives in the Chhattisgarh state, explained NCDC MD Sundeep Nayak.

“The penetration of quality healthcare services in remote areas will also create health awareness among the fisheries community,” Nayak said and explained that after consultation, if it was found that the patient needed more specialised treatment, ambulance service would be available.

–IANS

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