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Times of India
02 June 2011
By Sanjeev Shivadekar
Mumbai, India

CCTV Plan to Keep Tabs on Doctors During Emergency
The state medical education department has proposed to install CCTV cameras at emergency care centres in hospitals.
"Often, relatives of patients complain that doctors or other medical staffers are not available during an emergency. In some cases, relatives even accuse hospitals of delaying the necessary treatment. So, the department has proposed to monitor all the activities with the help of technology," medical education minister Dr Vijaykumar Gavit told TOI.

Gavit said installing CCTV cameras in the emergency centres of 17 government hospitals would help the government find out what exactly happened. "The technology will help the department ascertain whether doctors and other medical staffers were really at fault or relatives of patients were making baseless allegations," he explained.

The proposal will be tabled before the finance and planning department so that budgetary provisions can be made to upgrade the hospital system. Once the finance and planning department approves it, the proposal will be tabled before the state cabinet for its nod. "Within a year, we would be in a position to make changes in the system," he added.

However, officials from the medical education department were sceptical of starting the facilities within a year. "The minister is talking of a complete makeover of government hospitals. It will need over Rs 5 crore to implement all the changes. Ensuring budgetary provisions is an uphill task and may take some time," an official said.

The department also plans to connect all statemanaged hospitals though a video-conferencing facility. "If a lecture/seminar on a medical or related subject is organized in any of the hospitals owned by the state government, students and professors in other medical colleges and hospitals of the state, too, can follow the event through this technology," Gavit said.

There is also a plan to provide e-library facilities in all medical colleges. "Doctors have to refer to several journals and case studies. It is difficult to maintain the study material. Having an eversion of this will not only make maintenance of such adatabase easy, but students can also refer to it from libraries in any government hospital," the minister said.

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