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Rs 18.78 crore given to states for establishing Rural Telemedicine Network

New Delhi: As a part of e-health initiatives to improve primary health services in rural and underserved areas, the union health ministry has given Rs 18.78 crore to states to facilitate establishment of National Rural Telemedicine Network.

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said Rs 1.43 crore was provided for OncoNET India Project and Rs 3.37 crore for Tele-Ophthalmology.

Azad said the health ministry has also initiated a scheme of networking of government medical colleges across the country to provide platform for tele-education, training, distance learning, continuing professional development and sharing of information on healthcare, education and research.

He said the department of electronics and information technology has funded a number of projects on development and pilot-level deployment of telemedicine solutions as part of its research and development and technology promotion activities in different states, some of which have been taken over by the states themselves.

“The government recognises that e-health initiatives can be used to expand the reach, range and quality of healthcare services being provided under the existing public health systems to provide health services to the poor citizens across the country covering far flung areas,” the minister said.

Conceived by the union health ministry, OncoNET India aims to provide telemedicine services in cancer treatment, follow up consultations, early cancer detection and generation of cancer awareness. According to OncoNET, its services will also be used to run Continuing Medical Education (CME) programmes for uniform reporting, surveillance and analysis of data about cancer pattern of the entire country.

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