India Preps up for Virtual Consultations Amidst COVID 19 Crisis
TMT Law Practice, in conjunction with and under the aegis of the Telemedicine Society of India assisted the NITI Aayog in the formulation and drafting of the recently approved Telemedicine Practice Guidelines (Guidelines), 2020.
The Guidelines were released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and presented and approved by the Board of Governors who have superseded the Medical Council of India. The Guidelines acknowledge the necessity and the effectiveness of delivery of healthcare by the means of information and communications technology.
The Guidelines have provisioned appropriate preface and purpose of the practice of Telemedicine. Globally accepted definitions for ‘telemedicine’, ‘telehealth’ have been highlighted therein. The focus continues to be the provisioning of healthcare to patients residing in India and specifically excludes extraterritorial application. The requirement for recordkeeping and compliance with law continues to be the focus.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, these Guidelines have recognized the need to protect and preserve the functioning and efficiency of the healthcare practitioners. While assuming the emerging and necessary role of telemedicine, the purpose outlined also accounts for privacy and security of the patient records as well as the contours of reimbursement schemes.
“In view of the foregoing, TMT Law Practice’s work, alongside the Telemedicine Society of India, has garnered acceptance and acknowledgement in form of the Guidelines, and we as a firm thank everyone who has supported us in our venture towards this objective. All the stakeholders, and direct interactions which have enabled us to work towards this common goal, has also encouraged us to conduct and conclude a webinar with over 300 participants along with TSI and CAHO to break down the contours of these Guidelines for all the stakeholders, ” says Abhishek Malhotra, Founding Partner, TMT Law Practice.
It is imperative to note that not much has changed in terms of roles and responsibilities of a registered medical practitioner, and certain riders have been added with the introduction of the context of information and communication technology to the practice of medicine in this format. Because of the same, seeking participation from the healthcare practitioners, platform owners and growing social acceptance from the patients/ consumers will go a long way, said Bagmisikha Puhan, Senior Associate, TMT Law Practice. Bagmisikha is also the legal advisor to the Telemedicine Society of India.
Mr. Malhotra has two decades of experience in the legal realm and is a member of both the State Bars of California, USA and Delhi, India. His primary areas of expertise are Intellectual property, Dispute Resolution, and the Technology, Media & Telecommunications industries. In addition to the TMT sector, Mr. Malhotra now also advises his clients in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation.
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