KARNATAKA

Telemedicine in district hospitals soon

HASSAN, AUG. 1. Devi Shetty, noted cardiologist, disclosed here on Saturday that the Government in association with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was planning to introduce telemedicine facility in all the district hospitals across the State by next year.

Speaking to presspersons, he said that it was a policy decision of the Government to introduce the facility in all the Government hospitals to help the people avail of the services of advanced medical technology.

Dr. Shetty said that heart disease was spreading like an epidemic in the country.

Every third person suffered from some sort of heart ailment, he said. The life of people who suffer from heart attacks could be saved only if by-pass surgery was performed within six hours of the attack, also known as the "golden hour".

Telemedicine could be helpful to the lives of such patients, Dr. Shetty said.

The country of a billion people needed at least 6,000 cardiologists to face the challenge posed by heart disease, but the country could train only 60 cardiologists a year, he said.

The country was facing a dearth of cardiologist, which could be compensated through telemedicine.

Telemedicine could help a doctor handle any case with the assistance of experts with great precision.

There was a 95 per cent possibility of saving the life of a patient, if the patient were to be admitted to the hospital and treated within one hour of the cardiac arrest, he added.

The lives of nearly 12,500 patients have been saved through telemedicine across the country, Dr. Shetty said.

The purpose of introducing the system was to make heart care more affordable to all classes of society, he added.

To a query on the growing commercialisation of the health sector, he said that many hospitals across the country have become more charitable and compassionate.

He also said that globalisation had reduced the cost of medical treatment in India.

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