KOCHI: Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences signed a MoU with the Kathmandu-based Association of Non-Government Hospitals (ANGHOS) to establish telemedicine centers linking seven of ANGHOS member hospitals in Nepal with its medical experts in India. The wide-ranging agreement, which also involves initiatives like training and exchange programs for doctors, students and nurses, promises to herald a new era of collaborative healthcare between the two countries.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, and Dr. Bharat Pradhan, Chairperson, ANGHOS, Nepal.
The ANGHOS member institutions in Nepal which will benefit from the telemedicine service include PHECT – Model Hospital & Kirtipur Hospital; Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology; Nepal Anti-Tuberculosis Association; National Kidney Centre; Manmohan Memorial Community Hospital; Siddhi Memorial Foundation Hospital; and Nepal Orthopedic Hospital.
Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, said “With the setting up of telemedicine centers in Nepal, the expertise of our medical specialists will become available to hospitals affiliated with ANGHOS. This will enable us to deliver advanced but affordable patient care and healthcare delivery to the people of Nepal. We expect to review at least 20 to 25 Nepalese patients every month through telemedicine, especially difficult cases. We have already begun treatment of two referrals from ANGHOS hospitals at the Amrita hospital in Kochi. Furthermore, six nurses from Nepal have completed their training with us in advanced infection-control practices. Training programs in advanced surgery will begin soon”, said Dr Prem Nair.
“Patients in Nepal will benefit immensely through this collaboration. Delivery of quality care at ANGHOS-affiliated hospitals will improve through direct consultation with medical specialists in India and referrals of difficult cases to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. Over time, quality of care in Nepal will also increase through advanced training of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals in cutting edge methods and infection control. Indirect benefits to patients will occur through improvement of hospital management practices, cost-control strategies, and collaborative funding opportunities”, said Shyam S. Dhaubhadel, Executive Member, ANGHOS.
Skill enhancement of healthcare professionals through medical education and training programs is an important part of the MoU. “We intend to provide specialized short-term training for doctors and other healthcare professionals from Nepal in areas like head and neck, upper airway cancers, thyroid, heart diseases, radiology and pathology. We are starting training programs in laparoscopy and advanced surgical skills for Nepalese doctors. Additionally, we will be developing an E-learning package for medical students of Nepal”, added Dr. Prem Nair.
As part of the MoU, the joint research projects between Indian and Nepalese healthcare professionals will revolve around neglected tropical diseases and dengue, chikungunya, malaria and filaria. Community-based health activities will be another focus area.