Online medicare for yatris soon

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday joined hands with Jammu and Kashmir’s Directorate of Health Services-Kashmir (DHS-K) to set up a telemedicine centre at an altitude of 12,700 feet, roping in the country’s top hospitals, to cater to pilgrims en route to the Amarnath shrine.

The Panjtarni Base Camp Hospital on the Pahalgam cave shrine route will provide real-time treatment for high-altitude and other ailments that pilgrims frequently face in the region. An Intensive Care Unit will handle critically ill patients.

“The telemedicine facility will enable the doctors posted at the hospital to connect in real time to the tertiary care institutions of the country. Expert opinion on super-specialities like cardiology, neurology and respiratory medicine can be sought for timely intervention,” said Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary, J&K Health and Medical Education department.

The Post Graduate Institute of Medial Education and Research, (PGIMER), Chandigarh; the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi; the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, etc. will be among the country’s top hospitals available through the tele-medicine facility.

25 pilgrims dead

At least 25 pilgrims lost lives during the pilgrimage from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal since the yatra started on June 28. Many died of cardiac arrest.

“Modern technology at these high-altitude sites is the need of the hour,” said Dr. Saleem ur Rehman, Director General of the Health Services, J&K. This year, the department has established 29 health facilities and 12 oxygen booths, manned by 1,380 professionals on the two routes.

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