Telemedicine sites ignored

Telemedicine uses information technology to help medical professionals to diagnose and treat patients who are located at geographically distant locations, by transmitting live or stored data, voice and video. Universal Service Fund Co. initiated a Pilot Telemedicine network in October 2011 in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health. The project was carried out at fifteen locations across the country; three hubs tertiary care hospitals were connected. Hub of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) – Karachi was connected with four remote sites—DHQ hospitals at Badin, Thatta, Dadu andNaushahro Feroze. The equipment provided under the project was handed over to each of the hospital, included in the project, for their operational control. According to the project design, the responsibility of USF was to deliver the equipment at sites and keep those sites operationally active for one year. But after that year, JPMC didn’t work for Telemedicine. Seven years have passed but JPMC couldn’t activate these centres. We would have taken advantage of this technology yet patients in Naushahro Feroze, Dadu, Badin and Thatta could not get any benefit from this advanced treatment technology. All above-mentioned centres of Sindh are deprived of this facility. I personally approached secretary health Sindh for this matter but sorry to say no positive response from him yet today.
DR ABDUL QADEER MEMON
Naushahro Feroze, Sindh

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