Webcams rein in footloose doctors

Sonepur district improves ranking in rural health mission

By Ashutosh Mishra
Published: Sunday 28 February 2010

imageGovernment doctors serving in rural areas of Orissa are often found missing from workplace. So, the chief district medical officer of the tribal dominated Sonepur district decided to use technology to watch over the doctors.

Premanand Senapaty used funds available under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to provide five of the six block headquarter hospitals in the district with web cameras costing about Rs 1,000 apiece. They have been attached to computers.

Whenever he wants to check on a particular doctor, he asks him to speak to him over the webcam. “This is live interaction; I can see the doctor in his or her office in the hospital while making inquiries or issuing instructions. There is no scope for absenteeism,” said Senapaty.

The constant interaction has given impetus to health programmes, said Senapaty while adding that Sonepur has risen from 26th position to 18th in NRHM ranking in the state.

Assistant district medical officer of Sonepur, Udaynath Sethi, said webcams have improved attendance made it easier to handle emergencies.

State health minister Prasanna Acharya who watched a live demonstration of webcam communication during his visit to Sonepur on Republic Day said he would like to connect Bhubaneswar with all district headquarter hospitals using webcams.


Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.