Vijayawada, January 29, 2018: Tata Trusts today announced a hub-and-spoke Telemedicine Network, covering a population of about 10 lakh people spread over 265 Gram Panchayats in Vijayawada rural parliamentary constituency to supplement the public primary health care service. The Trusts also announced extension of a family health insurance plan, Swastha Kutumbam, free of cost for one more year, which will reduce out-of-pocket and hospitalisation expenses of people in these 265 villages.
These are part of Tata Trusts’ multi-thematic approach to support holistic development in Andhra Pradesh with projects running in Vijayawada, Krishna district and across the state. The actions cover implementation of village-specific development plans, healthcare, livelihood and skill development, digital education, nutrition, sanitation, awareness about and usage of the Internet, among others.
Speaking at the launch of the Telemedicine Network, Mr. Yanamala Ramakrishnudu Andhra Pradesh’s Minister for Finance & Legislative affairs, said, “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 health care system. It is heartening to see Tata Trusts taking up innovative community health initiatives like Tele medicine, especially at this scale.”
Mr. R Pavithra Kumar, Head South Zone Operations of Tata Trusts, 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. Initiatives like Swastha Kutumbam are endeavours to solve the access challenge. We are grateful to the state for enabling us to work with the public health system to carry care closer to people’s homes.”
Telemedicine Network: The Telemedicine Network will comprise a hub with doctors, located in Vijayawada, and 20 health centres spread across rural Vijayawada parliamentary constituency, and two mobile medical care units for outreach health services. The hub and Swastha Kutumbam clinics will be connected with latest ICT tools. Guided by the qualified doctors at hub, the 20 health clinics and mobile medical units together will offer consultation for primary and major medical conditions, basic lab services, treatment, screening (Cancer, ophthalmic conditions, diabetes and hypertension), and health education.
Together, the Network, it is expected, will increase access to and availability of health care, reducing morbidity due to common non-communicable diseases. Simultaneously, it will result in 20 to 25% reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure on consulting, diagnostics and medicines.
Swastha Kutumbam: The Swastha Kutumbam family insurance scheme, piloted in 2016, is being extended for a period of another year. It covers surgical, medical management and maternity procedures, outpatient services, and diagnostic and pathology requests, up to Rs.1 lakh per family, in private corporate hospitals. About 89 hospitals in and around Krishna district and other important locations are already on board. A joint initiative of the Trusts and Star Health Insurance Pvt. Ltd., it supplements the government’s NTR Vaidya Seva.
Trusts’ development actions in Andhra Pradesh
Since the recent past, Tata Trusts has been implementing extensive initiatives in Vijayawada, Krishna district and also across the state.
Village Development Plans: Each of the 265 Gram Panchayats of Vijayawada now has a unique development plan for government implementation. Besides this, the Trusts are supporting these villages in avenue plantations, hygiene programmes, healthcare, water storage tanks, street lighting. 80 villages have already been selected for comprehensive development.
Livelihood and skill development: The project aims to develop the skills of about 4,000 individuals in different relevant trades. Specifically, through its existing partnership with GE Healthcare, the Trusts are identifying and training individuals to become X-ray technicians, who will be placed in Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Chittoor and Kadapa.
Rural prosperity: The Trusts have partnered with the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) and the World Bank to support Andhra Pradesh Government’s mission to increase the income of 7 lakh self-help groups, covering about 7,00,000 women, through agriculture, animal husbandry, handicraft & handloom, and individual enterprises. One of the major programmes under rural prosperity is pisciculture. Implemented in six districts, the Trusts’ Fisheries project has thus far covered over 15,000 acres of water bodies.
Nutrition: A Technical Support Unit has been set up to assist the Ministry of Women and Child Development in implementing nutrition services. The government’s flagship Integrated Child Development Scheme is being strengthened through capacity building of government personnel.
Internet Saathi: Tata Trusts’ marquee project in association with Google, Internet Saathi, to create awareness on the usage and benefits of the Internet has been implemented in Andhra Pradesh and has impacted over 42.35 lakh people in the state.
Sanitation: Under the Trusts’ country-wide programme to support the Swachh Bharat Mission, it has made significant contribution in across the Krishna district to become ODF, intensively helped 420 of the 970 villages in Krishna district.