Punjab started telemedicine services in 300 Health and Wellness Centres

Chandigarh: In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Punjab Government has started telemedicine services in 300 HWCs (Health and Wellness Centres) to provide ‘Comprehensive Primary Health Services’ on door steps of people in rural areas.

Giving these details, Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that telemedicine services are being given in the state through hub and spoke model. A ‘Telemedicine Hub’ has been established at Civil Hospital, Mohali with 4 Medical officers and 1 Telemedicine Executive. He said that in next phase, number of Medicals Officers would be increased after assessing the response across the State while CDAC’s e-Sanjeevni telemedicine application is being used to roll out telemedicine program in the state.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that under this initiative, the Community Health Officers (CHOs) at HWC – sub center level connects with Medical officers at the hub through video calling. The CHO then dispenses the medicines to the patient, based on the prescription received through e-Sanjeevni app from the Medical officer. 27 Essential medicines and 6 Diagnostics test are being made available in adequate quantity at these centers to support the expanded range of services. He said that medicines are being provided especially for chronic illnesses close to communities so that people do not have to travel long distances to get medicines.

Instructions have been issued to the Civil Surgeons in this regard adding that he said they have also been asked to collect the internet dongles from the State headquarter so that such services would be provided in all HWCs, across the State.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that 2022 HWCs are now made operational in Punjab and 1582 CHOs have already been posted in these centers. “The HWCs will be a game changer to increase health system responsiveness to people by brining services closer to communities and by enabling itself to address the needs of the most marginalized section of population, through Primary Health care team”, he said.