Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao on Friday said that tele-ICU system will be set up in all taluk hospitals of the state in a phased manner. Speaking at the inauguration of a tele-ICU at Victoria Hospital here, he said the people in rural areas should be treated by qualified specialist doctors. It is becoming difficult for rural people from remote villages to visit super-specialty hospital in distant district for treatment.
“Tele-ICU system is helpful in providing super specialty care at taluk hospitals. We have emphasised on the use of technologies such as setting up ICU centres at the taluk level and monitoring them from here,” he said.
The Health Minister said that health check-up and consultation of patients admitted to taluk hospitals in case of emergency can be given by the specialist doctors through teleICU.
“This system has already been implemented in Hubballi and Mysuru and now we have implemented tele-ICU in Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru and Ballari Medical College. A total of four government medical institutions have been created as hubs and 41 taluk hospitals have been linked to them,” he said.
Gundurao said that 10 tele-ICU beds have been arranged in these 41 taluk hospitals and super-specialty care will be available to patients with the advice of expert doctors through AI technologies.
Nine taluk hospitals each have been linked to Bengaluru and Ballari cluster, 10 taluk hospitals have been linked to Hubballi KIMS Hospital and 13 taluk hospitals have been linked to Mysuru Medical Institute. A total of 41 taluk hospitals have been constituted as spoke centres, he added.
“There is a plan to set up tele-ICU in 60 taluk hospitals next year.”
Minister Dinesh Gundurao said that health services of specialist doctors will be provided through tele-ICU in all taluk hospitals of the state step by step.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar who inaugurated the tele-ICU clusters along with Gundurao here, lauded the tele-intensive care units as a revolutionary step in healthcare.
“The ability to manage critical patients in remote places by doctors in Bengaluru is a revolutionary step…. The tele ICUs enables ICU beds to be set up in far-off places and the patients there can be monitored remotely by experts in Bengaluru. This facility must be expanded to all the places so that high quality medical care is available to everyone,” he said.
Shivakumar stressed that tele-ICUs must be set up at all the taluk headquarters.
“By the time patients are brought to Bengaluru or some other large city, it would be too late. This facility is a boon for people in villages,” he said.
“There are many complaints that the ‘108’ ambulances take patients to private hospitals on priority in case of emergencies though government hospitals are there in the area. This puts patients in financial difficulty as private hospitals are expensive. I urge the authorities to use to the technology and track the ambulances,” he added.