Leveraging BhartNet: Beginning With TN, Common Service Centres To  Serve As Outlets For Rural Telemedicine ServicesA CSC VLE. (representative image) (via Twitter)

Leveraging the BharatNet broadband network of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Common Service Centres (CSCs) will provide telemedicine services in rural areas through video conferencing in collaboration with the Ministry of Ayush.

The service will be launched in Tamil Nadu next month and in other states later.

According to CSC CEO Dinesh Tyagi, the telemedicine service will be available round the clock via CSC's video conferencing platform, which works on low bandwidth and doesn't need a broadband connection.

CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services in rural and remote areas.

A pan-India network, it enables the government's mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.

In Tamil Nadu, the plan is to encourage Siddha system of medicine. For this purpose, 100 CSCs have been selected.

After Siddha, other systems of alternative medicine, like homoeopathy and Ayurveda, would also be made available under the initiative, he said.

The Ministry of Ayush will arrange doctors to run this scheme that aims to provide low-cost health services to rural people at their doorsteps.

The service would initially be available free, but later some nominal charges would be worked out to sustain the initiative, said Tyagi.

The CSCs, which act as access points for delivery of digital services, will be provided with some medicine kits to cater to prescription requirement and the patient or the VLE can either purchase the rest.

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