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The much-hyped ‘Digital India’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned to be a farce in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), a major health care institute in the Northeast.

The first five-year term of the Modi Government will end soon, but the Medical Record Department of the GMCH is yet to be digitized.

The patients, their relatives, police, life insurance companies and other agencies come to this department to gather information related to patients and their treatment.

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The staff members of this department have to find out information from offline files for thousands of people who visit the hospital at a time when people can gather information of the world over the mobile phone.

“A large number of people mainly come to get information regarding birth or death even after several years. To provide them information, we face lots of problem,” an employee at the Medical Record Department (MRD) of GMCH told Northeast Now.

As per Government norms, information of people who took birth or died in the hospital should be preserved by the department for 10 years. “As per Government norms, the MRD should keep record of the information of the indoor patients of the hospital for 10 years and the information of the outdoor patients for at least 5 years,” another employee at MRD told Northeast Now, adding, “Information of all the patients who visit the hospital should be recorded by the MRD. But as the department has not been digitized yet, to keep records in almirahs instead of computers, the officers and employees have faced lots of problem.”

An official on condition of anonymity told Northeast Now, “In order to keep the records there is need of a large area. But the space in Medical Record Department of GMCH is not enough to keep those records for years.”

It may be mentioned that the records of birth and death, medical legal care, re-imbursement, life insurance companies’ checking, court care summon, etc. are kept in the MRD.

When asked how to solve the problem, an official said, “In order to solve this problem, not only the MRD but all the departments of the hospital will have to be digitized and connected to the MRD,” adding, “Only digitization will help the people and it will also help us in gathering information.”

Anirban Pathak

Anirban Pathak is a Senior News Producer of Northeast Now. He can be reached at:

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