Bimstec telemedicine network launched

It is expected to improve patient care services in a big way

Published - July 14, 2017 12:34 am IST - Puducherry

Health care online:  Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurating the Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network on Thursday.

Health care online: Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurating the Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network on Thursday.

In an effort to provide better access to health care facilities in the developing nations, especially in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) region, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on Thursday inaugurated the Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network on Thursday.

“The aim of Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network is to improve regional cooperation in the field of health care by strengthening telemedicine-based patient care services and share medical knowledge among Bimstec countries,” he said, on the occasion of Jipmer Foundation Day celebration.

Mr. Kulaste said he was quite optimistic that with the establishment of this network, the health professionals from the member countries would be able to interact regularly with each other. “This will improve their knowledge which will ultimately translate into improved access to health care, especially to those residing in remote areas or the areas where there is shortage of trained manpower,” he said.

Areas of cooperation

Explaining the Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network (JBTN), Jipmer Director S.C. Parija said that Bimstec is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. Among the 14 areas of cooperation among Bimstec countries public health, communication and technology were included.

“There is a great deal of disparity in quality and access to healthcare between urban and rural areas in these countries and member countries of Bimstec face acute shortage of trained specialists in the district and peripheral health facilities. Telemedicine and telehealth have immense potential to bridge the gap in healthcare delivery especially in landlocked countries and small island states where access to quality healthcare is a major hurdle,” he said.

Sharing knowledge

Dr. Parija added that the aim of Jipmer-Bimstec Telemedicine Network (JBTN) is to share knowledge among member countries, promote standardisation, and quality control in surgery by sharing operative videos, initiate evidence-based guidelines for common disease conditions in the Bimstec region, use telecommunication to assist medical treatment in landlocked countries and small island States, preserve traditional medicine knowledge and promote mobile health programme.

“To begin with, JBTN has linked nine institutions in seven countries,” he said.

Praising Jipmer as an institute imparting education covering a wide area in medical education and health care, Mr. Kulaste said: “We must introduce new courses to keep pace with the rapidly changing fields of medicine to meet the new challenges of health care and medical education.”

He said the government had granted permission to the hospital to start liver transplant. “Soon, the institute would establish a centre for multi-organ transplantation in Jipmer. Besides this, the institute will establish a first-of-its-kind centre for multi-organ transplantation. The centre will have state-of-the-art facilities for multi-organ transplantation, transplant medicine and post-transplant care of patients,” he said.

High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Syed Muazzem Ali, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, Medical Superintendent, Jipmer, J. Balachander and Nodal officer Telemedicine and Registrar (Academic) D. Ravi Kumar Chittoria, MPs, and representatives from Bimstec countries were present.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.