IT to facilitate Health sector in Bengal:Debesh,Mishra

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Kolkata, Feb 7(UNI) West Bengal Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra today said the health sector in the state is concentrating on incorporating Information and Communication Technology(ICT) to make Healthcare more accessible to the common man.

Speaking at a conference on Digital Healthcare hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, which was also attended State IT Minister Debesh Das, Mr Mishra said, ''Growth is not sustainable unless it is equitable, and it will become possible only when we simplify technology to suite the requirement of the common peoople.'' Mr Mishra said that with their objective to make healthcare more accessible to the people, they have decided to utilise the benefits of ICT to create data bases. Anyone can gain access to these data bases to find out the health and treatement status of any patient admitted to any hospital or nursing home or know the availability of doctors or scope of admission in these hospitals.

''We are presently operating on a government to customer platform (G2C) in the healthcare sector to enable the people make the most of the facilities available within our system,'' he said and added, ''For this purpose, we have decided to conduct surveys on the district level to ascertain the growth in healthcare facilities using ICT as an aid and also monitor the growth and surge forward in the path using high-end technology,'' he said.

Speaking at the same conference, the state IT Minister, while expressing his willingness and understanding for the need to incorporate the benefits of IT in the healthcare sector, said, ''Technology is not something that is to be showcased, it has to be utilised in the right way so as to utilise it for the betterment of the general people.'' While saying that there is a need for a major change in the mindset of the people in the state, among those using IT in other sectors and those benefitting from the convergence of technology, he said that unless that happens, healthcare in the state cannot improve at par with the rest of the country.

Responding to questions asked by news persons here, Mr Das said, ''Surveys will be conducted by a pre-assigned agency to determine the requirements, scope and extent of incorporating IT in the healthcare sector. The reports of these surveys will help us utilise ICT in a better way and we can then incorporate, in sites launched by the government, such links which could provide access to information that any person may require in the healthcare. '' While speaking to the press, Mr Das also said that the government is considering opening up the avenue of telemedicine for the general people, instead of just big hospitals and nursing homes being able to utilise it for their business purpose.

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