Infy honcho bats for innovative healthcare technologies

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honchoBangalore, August 9: Infosys Executive Chairman N R Narayana Murthy has said that there is a greater need for innovative healthcare technologies and information technology, which can play a pivotal role in advancing the field of medicine.

Speaking at the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations of St John’s Medical College here on Friday, Murthy cited several examples of technology aiding successful combat of health-related issues.

“ There is a need for social and political will to focus on healthcare and increase funding — thereby reducing public spending,” he said, and added faith of people in medical professionals requires a much-needed boost.

Murthy also quoted the 60th National Sample Survey, to point out that nearly 28 per cent of people in rural area, and 20 per cent of people in urban centres do not address their health problems because of financial issues. He categorised this is as a serious concern as there was a need for more affordable healthcare facilities to the poor. He pointed out that there were only 0.7 doctors and one nurse for every 1,000 people in the country, and called for more qualified healthcare workers to join the industry.

“ Even today, more than 50 per cent of the population in rural areas travel for over 100 kms to seek medical care and nearly 65 per cent of physicians are accessible only in urban and semi-urban areas. According to the World Health Organisation, three-fourth of children under the age of five die of preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria in developing countries including India,” Murthy said.

He cited examples of how real-time GPS and mobile technology was used in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh to tackle the high infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. After adopting technology to attend to emergency cases, nearly 6,000 newborns were given timely health care.

Speaking on the occasion, Rev Salvatore Pennachio, the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican representative in India said St John’s Hospital and Medical College was established in 1963 with a mission to reach out to the people who had no access to medical facilities.

“ The visions of the founding fathers of the hospital have been maintained by integrating dedication and excellence.  It is a big challenge to those who are medically qualified to reach our to the poor and needy,” he said.

Cardinal Cleemis, vice president-I, Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Archbishop Kallarkal and Archbishop Bernard Moras were present on the occasion

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