In a country of India’s size and with huge diversity in incomes, social and economic criteria, it’s a big challenge for the government to ensure that its services reach the people on time and without diluting the quality. Over the past few years, the government has been focusing on application of e-governance in different sectors of the economy in order to make it easy for people to access the government’s basic services easily. For this, the government has introduced the Common Service Center – the e-governance vehicle for executing e-governance norms. The government has now started extending e-governance to public hospitals across the country.
The government is implementing e-governance in primary health centers in each district. The concept is to connect all the hospitals on a single online server. The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) is working to implement e-governance in the hospitals located within their jurisdiction. The service is designed to track the number of patients admitted, details of patients such as treatment given to each patient, and so on.
How it’s going to be executed
There are two systems in the e-hospital. One of them is meant for in-patients. This system for in-patients is cost-effective and can be developed at minimal cost. On the other hand, the system for outdoor hospital patients is somewhat costlier than the one for inpatients.
To begin with, the service is going to be offered under a pilot project, covered by the ‘smart governance projects’ which also encompasses several other initiatives, including e-office and digitization of office. The project is going to work in hospitals within KMC.
Outcome of e-governance
There are nine hospitals, including two large and seven dispensaries, in Kolhapur. The local authority spends Rs. 8 crore on managing these hospitals. The introduction of e-hospital would enable the authorities to keep track of the number of patients benefiting from government hospitals, amount of medicines available, as well as address the issue of lack of adequate medicines. It will also enable the authorities to improve the system.
The budget amount for e-governance proposed by the KMC is likely to be Rs 2 crore when the two components namely, for in-patients and for out-patients is finalized.
The health sector in India, especially in the hinterland, is afflicted with issues such as lack of professional staff, access to modern medical facilities that are life-saving such as infrastructure, and low density of doctors per population. E-governance would bring the much needed transparency and efficiency into the system, making access to medical facilities easier and enabling timely services so that precious lives can be saved.