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Bangalore, Nov. 6

THE Karnataka Government would be setting up a trust to implement the telemedicine programme to quicken the process of expanding its reach throughout the State. It would be a public-private venture involving several organisations, including government and private hospitals.

The Chairman of Narayanu Hrudayalaya, Dr Devi Shetty, is a key architect of the programme, while the Indian Space Research Organisation is an active participant in providing the satellite support for the services.

Mr D. Thangaraj, Principal Secretary, said the need to extend the programme to all the 27 districts of the State had prompted the Government to set up an independent agency.

The proposed Telemedicine Trust could result in expediting the process for framing the procedures for the smooth implementation of the scheme while empowering it to raise funds easily through donations or levying service charges. Currently telemedicine service is available in nine districts.

He was speaking at a two-day conference here on Saturday on Corporate Social Responsibility, which was organised by Bharatidasan Institute of Management, Tamil Nadu.

In her inaugural address, Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Managing Director of Biocon, said corporate social responsibility could not be viewed from the short-term perspective of reaching assistance to poor people. Focus should be made on a sustainable model to provide a durable mechanism for reaching the benefits to all stakeholders.

On the Arogyaraksha insurance scheme conceived by her and Dr Devi Shetty, she said the programme aimed not only extending low-cost healthcare services to rural poor but to make medicines available at a cheaper price.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 7, 2005)
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