Doctors can appear in courts with tele-evidence


Doctors would be soon free from physically appearing in courts for attending medical legal cases. Tele-evidence will be accepted by the Union Health Ministry across the country.

The health ministry said that the programme has already been started in Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. It would be enforced in other states.

The telemedicine initiative of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Information Technology and Ministry of Communication aims at creating telemedicine branches at district and regional levels. “Tele-evidence is the mixing of telemedicine with telejustice. It has shown possitive results at Chandigarh’s PGIMER. This would soon be adopted at the national level in other states too,” a senior health ministry officer said..

The tele-evidence facility streamlines the process of doctors appearing in courts in response to summons and saving their time  for patient care and for medical education and research. As per the plan, the healthcare centres and courts would be linked through video conferencing for the fast hearing. “This will go a long way not only in speeding up the justice process but also in saving the invaluable time of the doctors all over the country who have to compromise patient care time in attending the various far flung courts as part of their duty towards the judicial system. It will also prevent the consumption of fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprints (the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organisation, product expressed as carbon dioxide,” said the officer.

With the help of this facility, around 500 Doctors were attended  from March 2014 to February 2015 at PGIMER. The Institute saved the cost of travelling including traveling time.

The health ministry is planning the project in three phases according to the number of summons received by the healthcare centres. In the first phase the existing telemedicine facility of the medical colleges and universities would be integrated with courts to submit testimony. In the second phase district hospitals would be connected with the courts to submit testimony and finally in the third phase, training of connected persons would be started.