With the tribal people in the hill state having little access to health services due to patchy infrastructure and shortage of specialists, the Himachal Pradesh government will soon start tele-medical services in the areas starting from Lahaul-Spiti district.
"The project costing `45 lakh is almost through," told vice-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Ravi Thakur, who is also the MLA from Lahual-Spiti.
He was here to preside over a review meet about the implementation of the welfare schemes for the tribals.
He told that under the project, hospitals in the tribal districts would be connected with the bigger health institutions, like Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.
The specialist doctors of these bigger institutions would advise the doctors deployed in Lahaul-Spiti about the steps to be taken and kind of treatment that should be given to a patient in emergency.
"For this, we will also have a specific time slot in which the doctors in tribal areas could consult specialist doctors through teleconferencing," told Thakur. The project will be extended to other tribal areas in the state later.
He admitted that the health services in tribal areas of Himachal were in bad shape, with shortage of staff and no availability of specialists and he will raise the issue with state health minister Kaul Singh Thakur.
"I will also put up a question in the ensuing assembly session on how the state government would combat the connectivity and health services-related problems being faced by the tribals," said Thakur.
Thakur further told that the HP government was stressing upon improving connectivity in tribal areas and only a few villages have been left without road facility.
"Given the harsh winters in tribal areas, Thakur said the state will seek special help from the ministry of defence to airlift patients when these areas remain cut off from the rest of world," he said.
He further told that the National Commission for STs has suggested the state government to designate the Bada Bhangal of Kangra district and Chuhar of Mandi district as tribal areas.
Thakur told that the special impetus was being given on education of the tribal children, both living in remote and non- tribal areas and bring them at par with the other children.