As part of its efforts to support holistic development in Andhra Pradesh, Tata Trusts has announced a hub-and-spoke Telemedicine Network covering a population of about 10 lakh people in over 265 gram panchayats in Vijayawada rural parliamentary constituency. This initiative is to supplement the public primary healthcare service.

The Telemedicine Network will comprise of a hub with doctors located in Vijayawada and 20 health centres spread across rural Vijayawada, along with two mobile medical care units for health outreach services. This hub will offer consultation for primary and major medical conditions, basic lab services, treatment, screening (cancer, ophthalmic conditions, diabetes and hypertension), and health education.

The Trusts also announced the extension by another year of a family health insurance plan, Swastha Kutumbam, which is a joint initiative with Star Health Insurance. This plan is free of cost and covers up to Rs 1 lakh per family in private corporate hospitals. It is designed to reduce out-of-pocket and hospitalisation expenses of people in these villages. The telemedicine hub and Swastha Kutumbam clinics will be connected with advanced ICT tools. The network is expected to improve access to healthcare, reducing morbidity due to common non-communicable diseases while resulting in 20 per cent to 25 per cent reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure.

In a release shared with CauseBecause, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Andhra Pradesh’s Minister for Finance & Legislative affairs, said at the launch of this network: ‘Health is very important for the growth of a society. Even with extensive support from the government, there is a lot of scope for improvement for the healthcare system. It is heartening to see Tata Trusts taking up innovative community health initiatives like Telemedicine, especially at this scale.’

R Pavithra Kumar, Head South Zone Operations of Tata Trusts, thanked the state government for its partnership and said, ‘Healthcare is a major area of focus for the Trusts, and we operate on the guiding principle that no citizen should be deprived of care owing to lack access or affordability.’

However, the company has not yet responded to CauseBecause’s simple queries related to this project. We had reached out to Nayantara Dutta from Tata Trusts.