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This paper presents a computationally simple and effective methodology based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD) for classification of telephone quality normal and pathological speech signals. EMD is used to decompose continuous normal and pathological speech signals into intrinsic mode functions, which are analyzed to extract physically meaningful and unique temporal and spectral features. Using continuous speech samples from a database of 51 normal and 161 pathological speakers, which has been modified to simulate telephone quality speech under different levels of noise, a linear classifier is used with the feature vector thus obtained to obtain a high classification accuracy, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of the methodology. The classification accuracy reported in this paper (89.7% for signal-to-noise ratio 30 dB) is a significant improvement over previously reported results for the same task, and demonstrates the utility of our methodology for cost-effective remote voice pathology assessment over telephone channels.