BANGALORE: The prisons department will soon open a telemedicine service for inmates of two prisons in Karnataka.
Using an Internet connection and a computer, inmates of the Bangalore Central Jail and Hindalga Jail in Belgaum can consult doctors from the Institute of Nephro-Urology (attached to Victoria Hospital), NIMHANS, and Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular sciences.
K V Gagandeep, Assistant Director-General of Police (Prisons), said the initiative was announced last year and was in the final stages of implementation. “It saves manpower and time, for us and the prisoners,” he said.
With both prisons facing a shortage of staff—escorts have to take inmates to hospital—many miss out on timely medical intervention.
“Every day at least 30 to 40 prisoners travel to the city for doctor consultations. We spend on their transport and send security personnel to accompany them. This is an investment of time and manpower and also holds security risks,” he said.
The nephro-urology institute has already conducted a trial run for the Parappana Agrahara jail.
“Only serious cases will be asked to come to the hospital. The trial was successful and we hope the initiative will be too,”said Dr Ananth Kamath, medical superintendent.
The institute gets two or three patients from the jails every day. “We have an existing telemedicine facility. It is only a matter of extending it,” he said.
Technicians and doctors at the hospital and have been given the necessary training.