Telemedicine in Nepal (Part Three)
Telemedicine and Health Disciplines in Nepal (Part Two)
Due to geographical difficulties and higher population pressure, even basic health facilities have not been able to adequately serve the target population. Government of Nepal has the policy of providing health services through sub health posts in each VDC, however due to lack of buildings and manpower, such institutions have not been able to function smoothly. Moreover, the blanket policy of Govt. has made health services difficult to provide in all areas in a uniform process.
People have been faced with unnecessary economic burden and waste of time due to unclear policies about the services available in health institutions at district, regional and central level and the operation of referral system, as well as the cost to be borne by patients for service delivery from these institutions. Owing to geographical difficulties, morbidity pressure, lack of human resources, lack of health awareness and ineffective health services in remote areas, women and disabled people have not been provided with basic health services.
Human resources have not been developed properly due to the lack of manpower planning based on demand and supply, the lack of placement of right man in right place, lack of opportunities for transfer, promotion and career development, transfer of doctors to remote areas without medicines and equipment affecting their skill, talent , knowledge and capability. The problem of health institutions that still exist are the lack of medicines and equipment, lack of maintenance of hospital buildings, quarters and equipment.
As mentioned previously, we are living in an age of information technology. Information and knowledge are power, and power of information is applicable in every aspect of human life. In health care Sector, information is even more vital. Many accidents and deaths occur simply because of lack of information. People succumb to various diseases which could have been prevented if the right information was availed at the right time. There are numerous cases where patients die before reaching emergency. Many people die due to accidents, and with each passing day the number of people having non-communicable diseases are increasing and these cases are bound to continue increasing. For example, people die owing to diarrhea simply because they don’t know how to prepare water solutions of water, salt and sugar. People die due to heart attacks because they don’t where to go for help.
People succumb to hypertension, diabetes and cancer simply because they don’t get timely lifestyle counseling. If proper information is made available to them, many precious human lives could be saved. There are many examples where information has played significant roles. There are many cases of HIV/AIDS who would have wanted telephonic counseling because of fear of social exposure. There are also many suicidal cases, which could be prevented by providing tele-counselling to the depressed individuals. And of course, there are numerous cancer cases, which could have been prevented if early information has been available.
The best answer to the aforementioned problem is systematic management of information. Though there are various means of information, there are not any proper systematic manners to impart the knowledge to the general populations. There the best solution to channel information is Telemedicine, the information flow and dissemination through telephonic conversation.
In this endeavor, the process of Telemedicine will provide services on following components of medicines/treatments:
This project is expected to be beneficial in saving the lives of people throughout the country through wider dissemination of information regarding healthcare issues. Access to Telemedicine is an important aspect for the patients / beneficiaries to reinforce healthcare messages.