With a mission to take healthcare to the masses, Apollo TeleHealth has launched the ‘Digital Dispensary Programme’ in Meghalaya, collaborating with the state government.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the Apollo Telehealth Centre on October 13 under the Smart Village Movement at Rongjeng in East Garo Hills. Apollo Telehealth already has 100 digital dispensaries operational in the state of Jharkhand.
The Meghalaya government has engaged Apollo TeleHealth to address critical healthcare challenges in rural village areas, including accessibility, availability and affordability of basic healthcare services. The Digital Dispensary Programme has also been set up in four other locations across the state, based on the need and disease burden identified.
The project has been designed to be a self-sustaining and pay-per-use model, with subsidised/nominal rates being charged from the patients for the services provided at the digital dispensaries.
Through technology-enabled healthcare interventions, the digital dispensaries will provide access to healthcare services to the tribal and underserved population of Khasi and Garo Hills regions in four additional locations – Tyrsad in East Khasi Hills, Mawdngung in East Khasi Hills, Dadenggre in West Garo Hills and Tura.
Speaking at the inauguration of the programme, Sangma said, “We are all very excited about this project that enables access to quality healthcare through the use of telemedicine services. Patients often live hundreds of miles or more from the care they need, and when rural residents can’t access services promptly, they may experience poor outcomes. Telemedicine can be applied in such places or situations to provide quality healthcare. We are proud to collaborate with a prominent and capable partner like Apollo TeleHealth to overcome the challenges people face in areas where public transportation is sparse and strengthen overall patient engagement.”
Services offered at the digital dispensaries include primary tele consultations, specialty and super specialty teleconsultations, tele laboratory services, pharmacy, screening for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and social health education.
“The extension of the Digital Dispensary Programme by Apollo Telehealth Services in rural regions of Meghalaya will be a crucial step in reducing the dependency of the people on unqualified medical practitioners. It will also enable the removal of the distance barrier across geographical locations and enable access to primary care in five villages across the state. I would like to thank the government of Meghalaya for making this program a reality and help improve clinical outcomes in the region and save lives” said Dr Sangita Reddy, joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals.
“In rural areas or mountainous regions, distance and travel time between patients and providers is a significant barrier. In addition, there may be a shortage of providers in rural areas. With the launch of the Digital Dispensary Programme in partnership with the government of Meghalaya, we aim to address several health challenges faced by people in different locations across the state. We have always focused on providing evidence-based quality care, safe environment for patients and strengthening the functional efficiency of our hospitals, stimulating quality improvement while reducing variations. We strongly believe that leveraging telehealth services can help us achieve our goal of universal healthcare faster. At Apollo TeleHealth we have been a pioneer in adopting technology to act as a major leveller in reducing disparity and inequitable access,” said Mr Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo TeleHealth.