ATC CSR Foundation India (ATC CSRFI), the CSR arm of American Tower Corporation (ATC) India, as a part of its Digital Communities program, together with the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF) has launched five digital dispensaries in rural Madhya Pradesh. The digital dispensaries will be operational at Indorama, Depalpur, Barwaha, Icchawar and Rehti and will be accessible to around 200 villages across 4 districts and will offer healthcare service availability to nearly 2.5 lakh people.
The digital dispensaries will conduct free screening camps periodically and virtual doctor consults daily. These centres will use hybrid internet connectivity to deliver high-quality healthcare via telemedicine. They will also stock and dispense 60+ essential drugs to patients. All five digital dispensaries have easy accessibility to people. This initiative is funded by ATC CSR Foundation India and will be operated by Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, a large and reputed private healthcare provider in India.
The long-term objective is to bring in world-class quality healthcare services almost at the doorstep of rural communities and empower them with primary, preventive, and specialty teleconsultation services as a solution.
In addition, this initiative will help reduce out-of-pocket expenditures among lower-income groups, improve wellness by controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and educate people on both NCDS and Communicable Diseases (CDs) to improve the health indicators in the region. This will also be instrumental in controlling the rise in chronic health conditions.
Sanjay Goel, EVP and President, Asia Pacific, American Tower Corporation (ATC) said, “We are proud to be working with Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation to expand access to basic healthcare and medicine to rural populations. Our Digital Communities leverage the uninterrupted power supply and connectivity of our tower sites to provide essential services, like education, to the people in the surrounding communities. While advances in telemedicine is helping many, we see gaps in health care services for those who lack digital connectivity. Bringing the expertise of two industries together is a perfect example of how cross-industry collaboration can have a direct impact on lives. Together we will expand access to health care through digital connectivity which will lead to a healthier way of living for many.”
Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation and Apollo TeleHealth, said, “In a country like India, where the doctor-patient ratio is well below the recommended level, hospitals are overloaded in urban areas, and healthcare service providers remain sparse in rural areas, telemedicine has the potential to act as a major leveller.
ATNF has made major contributions to the country’s primary healthcare through Public-Private Partnerships and has touched more than 13 million lives with over 16.5 million teleconsultations delivered, 20,000 clinical transactions on a daily basis and beyond 1.5 million NCD screenings. As the sector grows, we are actively partnering with governments, corporate and other healthcare providers to expand the reach of telehealth services further. We are proud to partner with ATC CSR Foundation India for this program to provide general and specialist consultations, lab investigations and medicines to patients across the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh who are unable to visit specialists of premier medical institutions due to different constraints like lack of resources, time and money.”