Karnataka 4th in teleconsultations via E-Sanjeevani
The data gathered by the state health department shows that of the 1.32 crore teleconsultations, over 35 lakh were availed using direct online OPD consultation facilities.
BENGALURU: Since its inception in 2020, E-Sanjeevani portal has recorded 1.32 teleconsultations provided in the state making it fourth highest in India. Dr Arun Kumar, deputy director (e-health) said, the state is benefitting well from teleconsultations and we are now trying to measure how teleconsultations have helped reduce patient footfall over the years. There is a need for funds to perform the study, hence we have not started it yet.
The data gathered by the state health department shows that of the 1.32 crore teleconsultations, over 35 lakh were availed using direct online OPD consultation facilities. The remaining 96.81 lakh were with the support of doctors and nurses in multiple health and wellness centres.
The facility of online consultations has helped people in remote areas as they are now able to consult doctors immediately especially in case of emergencies, Dr Kumar explained. Despite these benefits, Karnataka is facing difficulties in identifying how patients are exactly benefitting. Those patients, who possibly would have been neglected due to lack of facilities, have been covered with teleconsultations but there is no data to quantify that subjective information yet, he added.
Dr Arjun Chinnappa, state chairman - medical students network, Indian Medical Association, explained that teleconsultations have helped overcome the disparity of more doctors available in Bengaluru when compared to the rest of Karnataka. Over 20,000 doctors are registered under the National Medical Council in the city in comparison to one doctor available for 10,000 people in the rest of Karnataka, he said. Especially for general illnesses, patients in remote areas would not consult doctors due to lack of accessibility but now are able to communicate with doctors at their homes with online consultations. It has also helped reduce daily patient footfall in the OPD over time.