November 06, 2007

TN keen on launching telemedicine projects

The Tamil Nadu Government is keen on taking the benefits of telemedicine to the poor in rural and urban areas, and the Government was launching projects in this regard, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said.

In his address at the Third National Conference of the Telemedicine Society of India (TSI) and 12th International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) Conference here on Saturday, he recollected that his Government had sanctioned Rs 87 lakh in 1999 to implement a pilot project in telemedicine in Government General Hospital here.

"A state-of-the-art telemedicine facility is now available at the hospital," he said.

Another project will be inaugurated shortly at the Government Royapettah Hospital, linking six Government headquarters hospitals at Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Thiruvannamalai, Krishnagiri,Udhgamandalam (Ooty) and Rameswaram.

Further, a Tele Health Project was currently under implementation at the Tindivanam Taluk Hospital and Mailam Block Primary Health Care Centre in Villupuram.

"The Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd. for implementing the project at Tindivanam," he said.

He also pointed out that Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to create 98 Comprehensive Obstetrics and Newborn Care Centres, in order to address "shortage of specialists in the Health Department."

However, such telemedicine facilities will help address the "shortage of specialists," especially in rural areas, he said.

Karunanidhi also lauded the Indian Space Reasearch Organisation for offering free services on its bandwidth for telemedicine consultations in the country.

L S Satyamurthy, Programme Director, Telemedicine, ISRO, said India's Edusat was the only satellite in the world dedicated for health and education. He also said 250 hospitals and 42 speciality hospitals were covered under the ISRO telemedicine network.

Leading names from the field of medicine and others participated.

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