Digital X-ray machines to overcome staff shortage in Tamil Nadu

A shortage of radiologists is plaguing Tamil Nadu government hospitals.

Chennai: With a shortage of radiologists plaguing Tamil Nadu government hospitals, the health department has decided to install digital X-ray machines in various health facilities and set up a centralised unit of experts to interpret the images.

"We are planning to issue a tender for sourcing digital X-ray machines for various district hospitals. The images will be transmitted to a central place where the radiologists will give the interpretation, which in turn, will be electronically transmitted to the concerned hospitals," Special Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department S Vijayakumar said.

There is a severe shortage of radiologists and this method is expected to solve the problem, he said on the sidelines of a panel discussion on "Government Sponsored Health Insurance Scheme - Evolving Win-Win strategy for the Stakeholders" held here on Saturday at Medicall - an exhibition of medical equipments.

Earlier speaking at the panel discussion, Vijayakumar said the Tamil Nadu government devised the `Kalaignar Kapitu Thittam` or Kalaignar Health Insurance Scheme that has thrown open private hospitals to the poor so that they get the healthcare on time.

The scheme was started as there was a huge waiting list of patients at various government hospitals and some treatment procedures were available at only few hospitals.

"We have empanelled around 750 hospitals. Many hospitals in far flung areas have upgraded themselves for empanelment under the scheme," he said.

Around 1.44 crore families have been covered under the scheme for a premium of Rs 569.54 crore till date.

"No insurance company had earlier insisted on medical audit or looked at mortality rates post-surgery. But under the Tamil Nadu health insurance scheme these aspects are looked into," said S Mannivanan, CEO, Medicall.

According to him all the stakeholders -- patients, hospitals and insurance company --should benefit under the government sponsored insurance scheme.

"If the insurer suffers a huge loss then he may not be interested in the business in future," he said.


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