There is a need for more hospitals in the country in view of the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases

Apollo Hospitals Group is planning to set up 10 telemedicine clinics abroad and also looking to expand its healthcare facilities in the country.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of ‘3rd International Conference on Transforming Healthcare with Information Technology’ here on Friday, Apollo Hospitals Group Chairman Prathap C Reddy said the proposed telemedicine clinics would be coming up in Ghana, Nigeria, Oman and Abu Dhabi, among others. However, there was a need for more hospitals in the country in view of the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases and the Group intended to use its financial resources here.

On the move to divest stake in the Apollo Healthstreet, a healthcare BPO, he said ‘we are not looking for investors. We are looking for somebody who is in that business’

Meanwhile K. Ganapathy, president, Telemedicine Society of India, has urged the Government of India to allow private sector into the network of National Knowledge Network (NKN). He made this request during an address to the participants by Raghavan S.V. Scientific Secretary, (Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor), Government of India, through a videoconference from Delhi. Responding to the request he pointed out that the question of allowing private sector into the network was not a technical one but a policy issue and expressed the hope that that it would get resolved soon.

Mr. Raghavan said the NKN has connected 815 institutions, including 160 medical institutions in 18 months.

T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Samir K. Brahmachari, DG Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), also interacted through video conference.

Mr. Ramasami said availability, affordability and accessibility of healthcare could be bridged only with technology. Dr. Brahmachari said that while 80 per cent of doctors live in urban areas, 80 per cent of the population lived in rural areas and the challenge was to bridge this gap using technology.