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Remote doctoring to benefit Bhutan's rural populace

23 April 2009

Alice Kok

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The health ministry's new telemedicine projects will help Bhutanese patients access medical advice from experts in India via the internet and through real-time videoconferencing.

The initiative will address the shortage of medical specialists in the country that has a population of 700,000.

Telemedicine in Bhutan
Image credits: Futuregov / Telemedicine in Bhutan

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley and the Indian ambassador to Bhutan, Sudhir Vyas, inaugurated the projects - SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Telemedicine Network and Bhutan Rural Telemedicine - during the ministry’s annual conference in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.

The real-time video conferencing will require an internet bandwidth of 384 kbps, while the rural telemedicine will use the existing infrastructure of dial-up internet connectivity.

With this telemedicine innovation, the Health Ministry hopes to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare by harnessing ICT. Apart from getting advices from India, this remote doctoring will also enable Bhutanese specialists to attend to patients in other parts of the country.

“Through telemedicine, doctors and specialists will be able to keep in touch with their peers and keep up with medical advancement in technologies,” said Gaki Tshering, Head of the ICT Unit at the Ministry of Health.

Source : Futuregov

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