Narayana Hrudayalaya, a hospital specializing in cardiac services, has tied up with the Karnataka Postal Circle for the Hrudaya Post programme, a scheme whereby villagers are given health-care advice by specialists, free of cost within 24 hours of medical reports being sent electronically.
A pilot study of the programme was kicked off on Thursday. The facility will be available in all district head post offices in Karnataka linked to Narayana Hrudayalaya, and heart patients in small towns and villages can go to any post office and send their entire medical report, after scanning and uploading them, to the hospital.
Once the reports reach the hospital through the e-enabled services of post offices, Narayana Hrudayalaya’s specialists will give an opinion, hospital chairman Devi Shetty said at a press conference here.
“This opinion goes back to the concerned post office and this will be delivered to the patient who sent the report,” he said. The postal department would charge Rs100 for the services, and an additional Rs25 if the specialists’ report needs to be delivered at the doorstep of the patient, the circle’s chief post master general Meera Datta said.
All computer-operated post offices in the state, and another 400-500 are expected to be added with this facility in the next two years. Shetty explained that when villagers develop chest pains, they see various medical specialists and get basic investigations such as ECG, blood tests, echo-cardiography and sometimes even angiograms done.
“However, all they have is a thick file of various medical documents and they do not know where to go next,” he pointed out.
Shetty said heart specialists at Narayana Hrudayalaya will guide the villagers on whether they should continue with the medicines they are taking, or additional medicines are needed, or any intervention is required without having the patients to travel. Almost 99% of heart patients don’t need surgery, he said.
Shetty reiterated Narayana Hrudayalaya’s commitment to help patients in case of financial difficulty. He noted that there are hundreds of organizations which fund such interventions.It is not mandatory for people who got opinion from the Hrudayalaya’s specialists to visit the hospital.