Pune:To provide better medical facilities to prisoners in the State, telemedicine project has been implemented at all the central and district prisons, totally 43 prisons. They have been connected to nearby government hospitals via videoconferencing (VC) facility.
The initiative was first initiated in 2015 to cut down on the need to take prisoners to hospitals for minor ailments, and thus eliminate the risk of them fleeing or being involved in other illegal activities while in hospital.
Additional Director General (Prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay said,“The telemedicine project has been completed at all prisons in the state. Every central jail has atleast six VC units for inmates to depose in court remotely. We have utilised this facility for telemedicine project.”
In Pune, the pilot project was launched at Yerwada Central Jail in April this year. Experts doctors from the Sassoon Hospital used to give advice to jail doctor via video-conferencing. And the result was encouraging as it eliminated the need for 90% of ailing prisoners to be taken to hospital for check-ups.
Upadhyay added,“We make a daily list of prisoners who need expert advice from doctors, and make sure the doctors at the hospital are available the next day for the VC session. The prison doctor is also present, and after inquiries about the symptoms, the doctors at the hospital issue instructions to the the prison doctor about the inmate’s treatment. Since April, over 800 prisoners benefitted from this project.”
The project was undertaken in 2015 in collaboration with the State Health Department under the leadership of former Director General of Police Praveen Dixit.