Doctor/Patient ratio in India is 0.59/1000 population as against a minimum of 1/1000 population recommended by WHO. Shortage of doctors at PHC level is 26% nationally and 18% in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Govt. of India has initiated a Government Patented Program "Healthcare ATM" for PHCs without doctors or those with work load of less than 15 patients per day. It uses SMS based patient vital parameter monitor, non-invasive Hemoglobin meter, on-site urine sensitivity device connected to a medical call centre (108/104/DH) where qualified doctor receive patient details. The doctor prescribes the drugs, command of which is sent to the facility and a free generic drug vending machine is dispensed at the facility. The 3-5 minute cycle connects the patient & ANM at facility, the remote doctor and provides "Diagnostics-Doctor-Drug" to the patient. The entire process is free of internet to avoid communication failure.