This is a historical time for telemedicine: Dr V K Paul

Dr VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog said that the public health approach should be implemented effectively on the ground.

This is a historical time for telemedicine and we must promote it to keep the doctor-patient relationship and trust intact, Dr VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog said while addressing a webinar ‘Public Health for Healthy Life’, organised by FICCI here on Tuesday. 

He added that telemedicine will also help us in addressing the non-COVID patients, given the high burden of NCDs and other infectious diseases in the country. He urged FICCI to take the lead in developing a multipronged approach to telemedicine, through non-profit partnerships; and to come up with a public campaign to remove any stigma related to COVID-19 and promote mental well-being.

 

He added that telemedicine will also help us in addressing the non-COVID patients, given the high burden of NCDs and other infectious diseases in the country. He urged FICCI to take the lead in developing a multipronged approach to telemedicine, through non-profit partnerships; and to come up with a public campaign to remove any stigma related to COVID-19 and promote mental well-being.

Dr Paul has emphasized that in order to control COVID-19, it is imperative that the public health approach should be implemented effectively on the ground. He said, “We must look at the positive stories of COVID control. The public health approach to contain the disease through trace, test, isolate, quarantine and timely referral must be implemented on the ground effectively by the government, civil agencies, communities and all concerned stakeholders.”

Highlighting the role of community participation, Dr Paul said that it can play a major role if we work in an organized way by supporting those who have tested positive and staying isolated. “Young people must be involved in community participation for the containment of COVID-19. The heart of prevention is individual behaviour. We have to look at how we ensure positive behaviour that contains the spread of the virus,” he added.

Emphasising on five pillars for pandemic response, Dr Paul said, “Surveillance, containment and disease control should be the priority. Preparedness on part of hospitals for assured access to ambulance and care is also required. Home care should be reinforced and made more efficient by following prescribed protocols, along with safety of elderly and other people at home. We also need to protect the vulnerable population, people with co-morbidities and improve immunity through our time-tested traditional system of medicine.”

Dr Paul also released the FICCI Recommendations on further Strategy for COVID Containment. These recommendations have emanated from the FICCI Roundtable with leading epidemiologists, public health experts and members from healthcare industry that was organised virtually to deliberate on the future strategy for COVID containment earlier this month.

Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that India is in the middle of fighting this battle, but we should also congratulate ourselves, government, public health response system, and all other agencies for the tremendous efforts and positive response in managing the crisis. “Our death rates are lower, and the lockdown bought us time for preparing to ramp up our capacities. We stayed connected with the medicine and the world to fight this crisis,” added Dr Reddy.

Key recommendations FICCI Recommendations on ‘Strategy for COVID Containment’ released during the webinar include:

    • Preparedness of the Healthcare System

    • Strategy for controlled transmission and extensive data interpretation

    • Capacity Building

    • Community empowerment

    • Increased Testing

    • Quality Quarantine

    • Treatment