In order to tackle the issue of delivering quick lab test results in Primary Health Centre (PHC) in urban, rural or tribal settings, the Union government has introduced ePHCs system. The program has been launched under the National Health Mission (NHM), had on pilot basis launched ePHCs managed by a Hyderabad-based company, e-Vaidya.
Now the patients will not have to wait big after their lab investigations, as is the norm in most of PHCs or Community Health Centres. Usually, patients end up waiting for at least a day or more before they can meet the doctor for further consultation.
Under the new scheme of things, patients will be provided with a single window free access to physicians, lab investigations, digital X-Ray, pharmacy. It is also more technically advanced, using telemedicine services in case of doctors absence.
There are more problems plaguing the PHCs at the ground level including, supply of medicines to the patients. Patients, quite often, end up spending from their pockets for lab tests and medicines, despite accessing a service, which carries the ‘Sarkari’ tag, but not prompt, punctual and humane, as reported by the Hindu.
A pilot project is being launched in Telangana wherein four PHCs in remote areas will be managed by eVaidya. “We provided all basic medical services to patients in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam in two PHCs for urban poor under the NHM project. The success of this pilot project has kindled interest among policymakers,” says COO, eVaidya, P.B.N. Choudhary.
The service will be operated at an initial cost of Rs. 3.64 lakh per month, which will be paid to the managing company by the Union Government. It will seek to provide value-added services like digitisation of ANM workflow, electronic medical records of patients, drug inventory management system and demographic-based health census.