Telemedicine guidelines were part of the IMC regulations

NEW DELHI: In a move to prevent cross infection by reducing footprints in hospitals, the government notified as part of the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Regulation, allowing registered medical professionals to provide consultations and write prescriptions based on conversations telephone.

Consultation through a physician registered under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 will be permitted in accordance with the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines ..., said a notification from the Board of Governors of the Indian Medical Council ( BoG).

The notice amended the IMC (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations 2002 to include telemedicine guidelines issued by the BoG in conjunction with NITI Aayog on March 25.

“The regulatory or legal framework will ensure doctor-patient interaction through telemedicine and will provide a standard approach, limits and imperatives for making health services accessible. On the other hand, it will reassure physicians that telemedicine consultations are legal, ”says Dr. VK Paul, NITI Aayog member and head of BoG.

The publication of the regulation, which was in process for some time, is considered a timely intervention in the context of COVID-19 when access to health care services is limited in most areas with hospitals trying to decongest spaces for prevent cross infection and ensure the safety of health workers.

“Disasters and pandemics pose unique challenges in providing medical care. Although telemedicine will not solve them all, it is suitable for settings in which physicians can evaluate and manage patients. A telemedicine visit can be conducted without exposing staff to viruses/infections at the time of such outbreaks, ”according to guidelines for practicing telemedicine.

He added that the practice of telemedicine can prevent the transmission of risks of infectious diseases to both health workers and patients. Unnecessary and avoidable exposure of people involved in health care provision can be avoided by telemedicine and patients can be remotely evaluated. In addition, it also allows additional resources.

The guidelines provide information on various aspects of telemedicine, including information on technology tools and platforms available to medical professionals and how to integrate these technologies to deliver healthcare. It also details how the technology and transmission of voice, data, images, and information should be used in conjunction with other clinical standards, protocols, policies, and procedures to deliver care.