Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that the right to health is integral to the right to life and the government has a constitutional obligation to provide health facilities. Governmental authorities have initiated technology-oriented medical facilities but in many cases, they are yet to be mobilised optimally.
The public health sector in India is overburdened. Optimal use of technology in treatment and management of government medical institutes can mitigate the challenges. Suhrid Ghosh, Senior Consultant, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, spoke to BE regarding various technological interventions undertaken by the Department of Health, West Bengal.
He said, “The state government uses technology in its healthcare sector. This includes e-prescription at selected medical colleges and tele-medicine for patients from far-flung areas. The department has also started using latest linear accelerator machines in cancer detection. The government has initiated ‘Jeevan Shakti’, which is a mobile-based app for real time information on availability of blood in different government blood banks in the state. It has also initiated online outpatient department ticket booking. The government has also introduced token management system for patients in few medical colleges.Blood Component Separation Units (BSCU) are being set up for maximum utilisation of sterilised (disease free) blood as patients often need certain specific components. Paediatric care initiatives are being technologically revamped and include Sick New Born Care Units (SNCUs). 69 SNCUs are presently running with additional 2217 beds. The government is also focusing on Sick New Born Stabilisation Unit (SNSU) which is a new concept in paediatric care and also focusing on Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) which are being set up for the management of critical illness of children. The government are also setting up Neo-natal Intensive Care Units (NICUS) which are being set up at selected government health facilities to reduce the IMR and save the new borns from different congenital diseases. The government is also focusing on setting up paediatric nephrology wards at selected medical colleges and hospitals with four functional dialysis units. Additionally, we have also initiated centres of excellence with high-end technologies that include a trauma centre in SSKM Hospital, Kolkata.”
The public health care system is availed by a large section of the population who cannot afford private healthcare. Well-meaning technological interventions can transform their lives and provide effective treatment at affordable prices.