‘Smart Clinics’ to be ready in a month

To ensure that quality healthcare is accessible to all citizens, the existing Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and referral hospitals under BBMP will be converted to ‘Smart Clinics’. Though announced in June last year, not much headway has been made, but officials said that preparations on the new tender were under way and they would be ready in a month.

The Smart Clinics will have have several digital interventions, including online consultations, three-way counselling/ consultations between specialists, PHC doctors and patients, creating a digital database with complete data of the patients visiting the PHCs.

The project, which is being executed by the Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. (BSCL), is estimated to cost ₹24 crore.

Admitting to some delay in taking up the project, BSCL officials, who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, said there were some issues with the earlier tender that had been floated. “Earlier, the ‘Smart Clinics’ tender was restricted to only the six referral hospitals. We received recommendations and suggestions to integrate all existing health infrastructure facilities of the BBMP. Hence, the tender was cancelled,” officials said.

They also said that the new tender, bringing BBMP’s PHCs, referral and maternity hospitals, under the same platform is being worked out. The same, they added, would be ready in another month’s time.

According to rough estimates, around 17 lakh citizens, especially those belonging to lower socio-economic groups, visit the 141 PHCs, six referral and around 30 maternity hospitals in the city. With the lack of specialists, many patients are forced to visit private hospitals. “This will not be the case when the ‘Smart Clinics’ become operational, as for one, they will be open round the clock, and two, audio-visual consultations with specialists from all fields will be possible,” explained Rajendra Cholan, BSCL managing director.

He said that already, the Integrated Command Centre had been established for COVID-19 management. The same would be used to integrate all the existing health infrastructure in the BBMP.

“Whenever a patient comes to the PHC, the system can immediately generate the patient’s medical history that is stored digitally. The same can be shared with the specialists who will be sitting in the centralized health centre, which will help in medical counselling,” he said and added that the other added benefit of the system was that patients could also be linked to various other health schemes extended by the centre and state governments.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 8:11:54 pm |