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App-ointment a click away: How e-Sanjeevani reached rural houses

Sep 20, 2022

Noida: Sitting in her house in Mirzapur, 54-year-old  got a medical prescription for stomach ache in less than two minutes, without having to step out of her home. How? She used e-Sanjeevani, the mobile application for teleconsultation that was introduced by the central government in the early months of the pandemic. 

Devi, who spoke to a doctor at the Post Graduate Institute of Child Health (PGICH) on a video call, is among scores of patients who have benefitted from the mobile app. 

What began as a temporary arrangement to keep up medical consultations when Covid first struck the country, the online platform is now helping reduce pressure on district hospitals and logistical costs for patients in remote areas of the state. 

Dr Sachin Mishra, the medical officer in charge of a community health centre in Greater Noida’s Bisrakh, said: “Since the beginning of Covid, e-Sanjeevani has been of great help to people. Earlier, for speciality health services, patients had to spend a lot of money on travel and used to wait for long hours to get themselves checked. Now, the staff at the community health centres can help the patients get in touch with doctors through the app.” 

Patients can get in touch with doctors for both general and specialist consultations every day between 9am to 5pm. 

“To date, I have attended more than 17,000 patients from across the state through e-Sanjeevani. This system is a test of your medical expertise as one cannot physically examine the patient. We have to either depend on communication with nurses at the community health centre (CHC) and primary health centre (PHC) if any patient connects through them. Else, the patient can directly connect with us. After telling us the symptoms, we quickly analyse their age, medical history, and symptoms and prescribe easily available medicines or refer them to their nearest district hospital for further pathological tests,” said Dr Major BP Singh. 

Mamta Rai took to e-Sanjeevani for her mother-in-law. “My mother-in-law had been overlooking her gastric-related problem for the last few months and was depending on home remedies. One of our relatives told us about the E-Sanjeevani mobile application. Initially, we were not sure if the consultation would be useful and expensive. To our surprise, my mother-in-law directly spoke to the doctor on a video call and explained her problems. Within a minute, the prescription was shared in the message box,” said Rai (35) from Bisrakh block. 

Dilbaar Singh, (43) a resident of Jewar who runs a shoe repairing shop also consulted a doctor on the e-Sanjeevani app, earlier this month. “For us, it’s no less than a miracle. The misinformation around medical facilities scares people like us who have little information and depend on random medicines brought over the counter from a chemist,” said Singh who had a minor kidney infection that caused a recurrent fever. 

Dr Deepesh Kumar, nodal officer for e-Sanjeevani in Lucknow, said “The teleconsultation facility under e-Sanjeevani is available across India, which has now been made part of the medical education department with the national headquarter stationed in Mohali, Punjab. ” 

As per the official data on the e-Sanjeevani portal, GMC Saharanpur tops the list, while the GIMS-Noida is in second place in the state and PGICH, Noida in the third position across the state for giving the maximum consultations. 

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