The Congress today termed the tele-medicine system initiated by the Uttar Pradesh government as an "escape route" from addressing the health needs of the people of the state. "The tele-medicine system adopted recently by the BJP-led UP government is simply devised to escape from addressing the health needs of the people of the state. It is simply an attempt to befool the people especially those living in villages," UP Congress general secretary Onkar Nath Singh told PTI. He said that the medicines will be suggested after a caller makes a call to the call centre describing his symptoms of illness. "A major chunk of the population living in the villages is not aware about the medicines and their side-effects.
If something untoward happens with them, then who will be held responsible?" he said. He asked the Yogi government to strengthen the community and primary health centres in the state. UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh claimed that the state government has failed to contain the outbreak of swine flu and dengue. "Ever since the emergence of non-Congress governments in the state, there has been a visible drop in the health scenario in the state. Until and unless the primary health centres and community health centres are strengthened both in terms of doctors and medicines, improving the health scenario of the state will always remain a distant dream," he said. UP health minister Siddharth Nath Singh had recently said that to boost health system at the grass-roots level, the Uttar Pradesh government will soon launch a network of '24x7 control centres' across the state that will allow people to consult doctors through telephones. He said that villagers in remote areas would be able to connect to these control centres through telephone and doctors receiving the calls would be able to prescribe simple medicines. "If the ailment does not go away, doctors will prescribe antibiotics which would be made available to them at primary healthcare centres (PHCs). Even then if the problem doesn't go away, the patient will be shifted to the district hospital for further treatment," he added.