Rehan Qayoom Mir
Srinagar, Nov 4: In a move to digitise healthcare services, the government has introduced the “Abha app” as a mandatory entry requirement for patients seeking treatment at government hospitals.
While this digital approach aims for efficiency, it has posed difficulties, especially for certain groups like elderly patients and those residing in remote areas.
Elderly patients, unfamiliar with smartphone technology, find themselves struggling with this new requirement.
A group of elderly patients outside the Government Dental College and Hospital, Shireen Bagh, Srinagar, said that they face difficulties in registering for treatment as they don’t have smartphones.
One elderly man from Bandipora lamented, “I can’t use a smartphone, and I don’t have anyone to help me. As an elderly man, it is making something as simple as a doctor’s visit almost impossible.”
Meanwhile, people from far-flung areas face challenges due to network issues and a lack of access to mobile devices. A resident from a remote Kupwara village stated, “We already travel long distances to get to the hospital, and now, we’re told to use an app that we can’t access.”
The patients urged the government to consider these challenges. “While the technology has made our lives easier, the government should provide alternatives for those who cannot use the Abha app,” the patients said.