Staff Reporter

Aitharaju Foundation and HMRI join hands to set up telemedicine centre

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Chairman Harinarayana inaugurates the facility

He stresses the importance of health insurance products being offered by various firms

VALLABI ( KHAMMAM DIST): Expertise of healthcare professionals will now be available for patients in Vallabi, a tiny village in Khammam district, thanks to the telemedicine centre set up as part of a special initiative taken up by the Aitharaju Foundation in collaboration with the Health Management and Research Institute (HMRI).

Inaugurating the centre, J. Harinarayana, Chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India and former Chief Secretary of the State, said that the comprehensive telemedicine experiment taken up in the village was a revolutionary step in the direction of providing linkage between remotely located patients in need of clinical consultative services with health professionals based elsewhere.

Safe water needed

He said that the government had been spending over Rs. 2,00,000 crores on medical and health services every year in the country. A major part of the expenditure on medical and health could be saved by meeting the nutritional deficiencies of our teaming millions. Provision of safe drinking water to people was also equally important to overcome the problems related to health.

He pointed out that families from small income groups were making a precarious living as any major health-related problem would leave the finances of the family totally crippled. Both the government and insurance companies had been reaching out to such families in a big way in the country.

Low premium

Stressing the importance of health insurance products offered by different insurance companies, he said it could be availed of with premiums as low as Rs. 100. He recalled his association with the district saying he had worked in Khammam some 37 years ago.

Chief Engineer, Rural Water Supply, Hari Umakanta Rao, said in his address that the village owed much to the Aitharaju Foundation as it could provide safe drinking water to schoolchildren by setting up a dinking water plant with the collaboration of S.S. Sujala, benches and desks for students of government high schools in the village with the support of the Rotary Club of Hanmakonda. He said that every village needed one Ranga Rao, the man behind the Aitharaju Foundation.

Footwear provided

Footwear was provided to poor students in village schools through the foundation and the cost was borne entirely by Mr. Umakanta Rao.

Sharatbabu of the Rotary Club, Hanmakonda, Balaji Utla, CEO of HMRI, were among those who took part.