‘eSanjeevani’ telemedicine service, the platform of the Health Ministry providing tele-consultations, has completed 3 lakh tele-consultations.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare had presided over a meet to commemorate the platform’s completion of 1.5 lakh on 9th of August. The platform has registered double that number of consultations within a month since then. One lakh of these tele-consultations were held in the last 20 days. The platform had completed the first 1,00,000 consultations on 23 July 2020, and the subsequent 1,00,000 on 18 August 2020 within a span of 26 days.
Ensuring physical distancing, the telemedicine service connects doctors with patients. It has provided essential healthcare at a critical time when conventional medicine is perceived to be risky owing to the nature of the infectious disease.
eSanjeevani platform supports two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations. The former is an important pillar of the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme. This was rolled out in November 2019. It aims to implement tele-consultation in all the 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres in a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model, by December 2022. States need to identify and set up dedicated ‘Hubs’ in Medical Colleges and District hospitals to provide tele-consultation services to ‘Spokes’, i.e SHCs and PHCs.
The Health Ministry rolled out the second tele-consultation service ‘eSanjeevaniOPD’ enabling patient-to-doctor telemedicine on 13th April of this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has proved a boon in containing the spread of COVID while simultaneously enabling provisions for non-COVID essential healthcare.
eSanjeevani has been implemented by 23 States so far and other States are in the process of rolling it out. Tamil Nadu alone has contributed 97,204 consultations and all are on the eSanjeevaniOPD app. Uttar Pradesh is second with 65,173 total consultations.
Himachal Pradesh has held the highest number of AB-HWC teleconsultations of eSanjeevani with 30,869 interactions. The State ranks third with a total of 31,689 teleconsultations. Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have conducted 30,189 and 28,173 teleconsultations respectively.
Considering the uptake of eSanjeevani by the populace in the States/UTs, tertiary level institutions like Lady Hardinge Medical College & Associated Hospitals, AIIMS Bathinda, AIIMS Bibinagar, AIIMS Rishikesh have also on-boarded eSanjeevani. These premier institutions have set up specialised OPDs on eSanjeevaniOPD and patients have started seeking their services through eSanjeevaniOPD. Since 26th August, Govt. of India’s Centre Government Health Scheme (CGHS) also started offering specialised health services for its beneficiaries in Delhi through eSanjeevaiOPD. CGHS has set up four specialised OPDs on eSanjeevaniOPD namely ENT, Medicine, Ophthalmology & Orthopaedics.