Kohima, Jan 6 (EMN): In a major boost to healthcare system in the state, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday launched 10-bed intensive care unit (10-bed ICU) wards across 12 districts and a Tele-ICU Hub at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK).
The 12 district hospitals that received the 10-bed ICU facility include: NHAK; district hospitals in Dimapur, Noklak, Tuensang, Phek, Peren, Kiphire, and Longleng; District Civil Hospital, Mon; dr Motsuo Memorial District Hospital Wokha; dr Imkongliba Memorial District Hospital, Mokokchung; and Hezukhu Memorial District Hospital, Zunheboto.
The remaining four new districts are also expected to be covered with a similar facility, it was informed.
Speaking during the launch program at Capital Cultural Center in Kohima, Rio said the projects have the potential to transform the provision of critical healthcare services at government hospitals in the state as well as provide services within a shorter travel time for patients even in the remote districts .
‘Nagaland, being a frontier state bordering Myanmar, faces challenges in extending critical healthcare in remote areas. It is difficult to make ICU facilities operational in district hospitals other than NHAK due to insufficient specialist doctors and infrastructural deficiencies,’ he pointed out.
The most critical part of running an ICU is the manpower and specialists. Yet that has been addressed through Tele-ICU Hub at NHAK. The available specialist doctors at NHAK will now be able to monitor and provide critical care services remotely over high-speed internet connections and using cameras, said the CM while urges the doctors and nurses to make use of the facilities created for providing better services to the people .
While appreciating Nandan Nilekani and Srikanth Nadhamuni for their constant support, and Vinod Khosla for funding the 10-Bed ICU project and Tele ICU Hub, the chief minister sought their further support in terms of technology to meet the challenges of development, attracting investments in remote parts of the state and promoting entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state.
Health minister seeks more support
Speaking on the occasion, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom assured high-speed internet connectivity to the district hospitals to ensure that specialists at NHAK provide services to patients in other districts through the tele-ICU facility.
He requested eGovernment Foundation and other donors to set up more ICU facilities in the recently carved out districts of Chümoukedima, Niuland, Shamator and Tseminyu.
He also sought their support for creation of Tele-ICU Hub at CIHSR Dimapur and to consider setting up of tele-radiology facilities in Nagaland.
More ICU awards in offing
Chairman of 10-Bed ICU Organisation, Srikanth Nadhamuni, said Nagaland is the first state where it had launched 10-bed ICU awards in every district hospital in less than a year.
The equipment and machineries are of world class technology, he said adding: ‘With the kind of support from the Nagaland government, we are very sure to launch it in the remaining districts.’
He also assured to look into providing a Tele-ICU Hub at CIHSR in Dimapur and that the foundation is looking at the possibility of setting up tele-radiology facility and to register more specialists.
The 10-bed ICU projects, which cost nearly INR 32 crore barring technology packages, include five key pillars like ICU medical equipment, tele-ICU specialists, CARE tech platform, ICU and system training, and communitisation, it was informed.
How Tele-ICU Hub works
All the ICU units in 12 districts are equipped with Tele-ICU equipment and connected to the Tele-ICU Hub at NHAK via cloud software, which Google has offered to Nagaland for free for a year. This will enable doctors and nurses in district hospitals, which lack specialists, to get real-time medical advice and consultation from specialists in NHAK.
It is a cloud based system that connects specialists from medical colleges to district hospitals with the help of hi-resolution cameras, 5-para-monitor integration at the tele-ICU spokes and 4k TV monitors at the Tele-ICU Hub.
Commissioner and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Y Kikheto Sema informed that broad-band service is in place for six districts hospitals to availing tele-ICU facilities, while ensuring installation of high-speed internet service in the remaining six districts within this month.
Policy Lead and Program Coordinator, eGov Foundation, Bisoya Loitongbam, informed that an MOU was signed with the Nagaland Government in July 2021 to implement the projects and the 10-bed ICU projects were covered in less than a year.
It is a public private partnership project between the Department of Health and Family Welfare, and 10-Bed ICU partner NGOs — eGov Foundation and Karuna Trust — led by eGov Foundation. The Vinod Khosla Family Ventures funded 11 out of the 12 10-bed ICUs in the state and the Tele-ICU Hub at NHAK.
Meanwhile, the HDFC Bank supported the 10-bed ICU facility in Dimapur.