TELEMEDICINE CENTRE ESTABLISHED AT RAWALPINDI MEDICAL UNIVERSITY
In response to the Telemedicine initiative of the Government of the Punjab under the patronage of the Governor of the province of Punjab, his excellency, Mr. Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar, the Governor of Punjab and Sardar Usman Buzdar, the Chief Minister of the Punjab; Prof. Dr Muhammad Umar, the Vice Chancellor of the Rawalpindi Medical University launched the telemedicine service at the Rawalpindi Medical University Campus at Holy Family Hospital on 27th March 2020. The setup is being managed round the clock by qualified doctors providing round the clock online consultation facility to the public free of cost in these trying times being faced by the nation.
Telemedicine is a unique concept of providing medical care to the patients over digital platforms used for communication like voice calls, video consultations etc., in situations where the patient may be present at a distant location, avoiding the need of patient presenting himself to the doctor. The first practical use of the concept of was seen in 1940s in Pennsylvania where radiology images were transmitted over a distance of 24 miles for consultation.
The telemedicine center at the Rawalpindi Medical University is currently offering round the clock teleconsultation through the connectivity provided via the mobile phone and live video consultation to the patients. The center is a part of the chain of telemedicine centers being established by the Government and the Chief Minister of the Punjab consisting of around 150 mobile phone lines and web based video consultation solution that the Government is offering in conjunction with the UK based telemedicine solution provider “MedicalCity. Online”, forming the largest of its kind 24/7 online health consultation provision network in the country. The telemedicine center can be accessed through the free UAN Calling Number 0304-1112101 while the video consultation can be arranged through visiting the web portal “doctors247.online”. It is worthwhile to mention that both the mobile based and video consultation services are free for the public.
Expressing his opinions about the Telemedicine Center, the Vice Chancellor of the Rawalpindi Medical University, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Umer stated that the Rawalpindi Medical University welcomes the initiative by the Governor of Punjab, Mr. Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar and the Chief Minister of the Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar to facilitate the people of Pakistan. The RMU is also hosting dedicated video conferencing portals in arrangements with the district government that are connected to the Basic Health Units of four of the most densely populated union councils of Rawalpindi including Rehmat Abad, Kotha Kalan, Dhok Mustaqeem and Dhok Mungtal. The Rawalpindi Medical University along with its team of dedicated doctors are playing their role in community welfare by joining hands with the Government of the Punjab to facilitate the public in all ways possible. Although established in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide the consultation for Corona infection related concerns of the public, in just under a week of its establishment, the center has already catered to the needs of over 500 patients, not only in their COVID-19 related concerns, including its identification, prevention and care of suspected patients; but also for management of other health related problems as well as in facilitating in matters where the public is facing difficulties due to the current lock down.
Prof. Dr Naeem Akhtar
Dr. Shazia Zeb