Government launches ‘SEHAT’ – A unique initiative for healthcare

A unique initiative for health care in India – ‘SEHAT’ was launched by the Government on 25th August, 2015, as part of Government of India’s Digitalization initiative. This is in furtherance to the Government’s commitment to empower rural citizens in having access to information, knowledge, skills and other services in various sectors through the intervention of digital technologies and fulfilling the vision of a ‘Digital India’.

As quality and affordable health care is one of the emerging needs for citizens in rural areas of India, there shall be set up at least one Common Service Centre (“CSC”) at every Panchayat. The CSCs would act as “change agent” for enabling the family member to learn computer skills and undergo vocational training resulting in digital empowerment and enhancement of family income. These CSCs across the county shall play a critical role in taking Digital literacy to the remotest corners of the country. There shall also be around 2,50,000 access points for delivery of various Government to citizen services. The citizen can avail all the facilities near to the place of residence and need not frequent the Government offices. Further, CSCs and Apollo Hospitals have come together to address the issue of healthcare in rural India and have designed a workable solution. CSC has been delivering tele-consultation services with support from Apollo Hospitals and Medanta Hospital in some areas and now with this initiative the tele consultation services are being extended to 60,000 CSCs across the country.

Under this service, people can visit CSCs and fix an appointment for seeking expert consultancy with a doctor. The doctors at Apollo Hospitals will be able to provide consultancy to the patients using the video link facilities.

CSCs will also provide diagnostic services and promote sale of generic drugs through collaboration with Ministry of Health – by setting up of the Jan Aasudhi Stores. With the availability of tele consultation, diagnostic facilities and generic drugs stores – the government aims to redefine the extension of affordable and quality health care to the citizen especially in rural India and hope that this will become a game changer.

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