Telenursing Approach – Evidence Based Challenge

Introduction-The term “basic health services” is defined by UNICEF and WHO (1965) as a network of co-ordinated, peripheral and intermediate health units capable of performing effectively, a selected group of functions essential to the health of an area and assuring the availability of competent professional personnel to perform these functions. WHO has also proclaimed health as a fundamental right of every individual and society.

India is a developing country with a large and diverse geographical terrain, and a huge population with a great deal of ethnic and cultural variation. It has all kinds of health care providers ranging from well qualified doctors of allopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda, registered medical practitioners to untrained providers of medical aid, herbalists, and magico-religious practitioners. The importance of the involvement of practitioners belonging to different systems of medicine in the health care system has been noted by various committees and in various health related policy documents from time to time. The National Health Policy (2002) advocated expanding the pool of medical practitioners to include a cadre of licentiates of medical practice, practitioners of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy. It further recommended that different categories of medical manpower should be permitted medical practice after adequate training. The National Population Policy (2000) recommended the involvement of manpower from different health agencies to expand the body of effective health care providers. Shrivastva Committee (1975) recommended primary health care within the community through trained workers to keep the health in the hands of the people.

The governments of developing countries are unable to deliver free health services as the basic right of the citizen in a holistic manner.Accessibility of health agency is an important aspect of its availability; hence a vital factor affecting treatment seeking behaviour of consumers. To make provision for basic health care to all the people is a difficult task for administrators in a country like India. Thus, eliminating geographical barriers, and to help develop new strategies and services to appeal to consumers’ various needs and desires is a big challenge.In spite of a host of national health policies; the health care indices significantly lag behind those of the developed countries. The quantitative and qualitative demographic transition in the population and disease profile along with inadequate health care delivery infrastructure is a fundamental concern for the country. In India, government from time to time declared deadlines for achievement of goals in health and various related areas. At present, in addition to other time bound goals of current eleventh five year plan, some of the important goals to be achieved by 2000-2015 are to increase utilization of public health facilities, and to establish a system of surveillance, national health accounts and health statistics.

Moreover, the increased need for health care has not been matched with a commensurate increase in resource, and the imbalance is growing. In developed countries telenursing applications are available in homes, home care agencies, hospital based telemedicine centres, hospices and rehabilitation centres whereas in Indian scenario, its need for implementation is being considered vis-a-vis …