Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - IV (General Studies – III) - 23 May 2020

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper - IV : General Studies - III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Q. How can telemedicine help us to effectively fight against Covid 19 pandemic? What are the guidelines issued by Union health ministry for telemedicine? Discuss the limitations of telemedicine. (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Telemedicine to effectively fight Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Guideline issues by Union Health Ministry for telemedicine.
  • Limitations of telemedicine.
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

The Medical Council of India and NITI Aayog have developed new guidelines for registered medical practitioners to deliver consultations to patients via telemedicine.


Telemedicine is defined as the delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor by healthcare professionals using information for diagnosis!, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries. It is the essential delivery of health care services where distance is a critical factor. Telemedicine holds significance in India where doctor-to-patient ratios are poor.

Telemedicine to fight Covid-19 Pandemic:

  • It can help bridging the gap between people, physician and health systems, enabling everyone especially symptomatic patients.
  • People can communicate with physicians through virtual channel. It would thus help in reducing the spread of virus to mass populations.
  • It can help provide routine care for patients with chronic diseases who are at high risk If exposed to the virus.
  • Telemedicine would also help the medical staffs who are Fighting this pandemic on the front line.

Guidelines issued:

India did not have any set of guidelines on the practice til now. The guidelines were recently prepared in collaboration with NITI Aayog. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Only registered medical practitioners enrolled in the state Register on the National Register under the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, can practice telemedicine.
  • All Registered medical practitioners need to complete an online course within 3 years to provide consultation via the internet.
  • Telemedicine consultation should not be anonymous.
  • The practitioner should ensure that there is a mechanism for a patient to verify the credentials and contact details.
  • For issuing a prescription, the practitioner needs to explicitly ask the age of the patient.
  • The guidelines also gave information on several aspects of telemedicine including what platforms can be used for diagnosis and treatment and how the technology, can be integrated to provide robust healthcare Services.

Limitations :

  • The out- of- hospital management has not been yet established in India. For higher risk patients, telemedicine may not be consistent with the clinical course.
  • Telemedicine has not traditionally been used in response to public health. Many health practitioners are not equipped to deliver care in this way.
  • Access to broadband is a major issue, with regard to telemedicine. Many hospitals struggle with running a quality connection within their facilities.

Conclusion :

For years, telemedicine has been pitched as a way to democratize medicine by driving down costs, increasing access to care and making appointments more efficient. An outbreak of the novel coronavirus could finally bring telemedicine in the spotlight.

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