May 31, 2011

Telemedicine dissociates poverty from quality healthcare


A team medical experts from Narayana Hradayala Hospitals , India, is collaborating with Global Resources & Projects, a Nigerian concern dedicated to capacity building in healthcare and some international healthcare providers across India, the United States of America, Egypt and other countries to promote telemedicine in Nigeria.

Prof. Anthony V Pais, a Senior Consultant Surgical Oncology from the Hospital, who spoke last week during the opening of a new centre for Nigerians , said telemedicine will dissociate financial status and quality healthcare.

“Telemedicine involves use of medical information transferred from one site to another through electronic communications to improve patient health care, including diagnosis and treatment while reducing cost. We discuss any patient every week with a group of doctors and this will reduce the rate at which people seek for better care abroad.”

The designated Glo-Telemedicine centre is located on Victoria Island,  Vice President of the Hospital, Yogendra Rawat said the unveiling of the centre would, ultimately provides a bridge between Nigerians desirous of quality healthcare and experts stationed in far-flung locations locally and abroad.

Executive Officer, Global Resources, Dr. Wale Alabi, said the centre would reduce the traffic of Nigerians utilising hard-earned resources to seek medical attention abroad.

”The Glo-Telemedicine Centre would bridge the gap between the poor and good health services by creating a simless communication between them and those with the expertise and facilities to help them.”

The initiative rides on availability of the broadband access fibre optics access provided by Nigerian Telecommunication firm, Globacom, to reduce the traffic of Nigerians travelling abroad for medical attention.

”We have found from experience in dealing with international healthcare providers that most Nigerians who travel abroad for medical attention either do not need to go all the way or are misguided.”

Alabi noted that telemedicine is not a medical specialty, but an important tool that is being increasingly used to deliver better healthcare throughout the world.

It utilises the rapid advances in Information and communication Technology, which now makes it possible to transmit text, sound, video, image and other information from one location to another.

The centre would offer super speciality-consultation services at very low cost, as well as Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities for doctors and other medical experts on growing trends in the profession.