The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has called effective modalities to regulate telemedicine, to enhance quality healthcare service delivery in the country.Mr Kenneth Ozoilo, President of the association, made the call at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association on Friday in Kano.
Telemedicine is refer to the exchange of medical information from one location to another using electronic communication,to improve health status of the patients.The practice of telemedicine is becoming more popular sequel to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the world.Ozoila said the meeting would enable the participants to deliberate on the legal and ethical implications of telemedicine in the campaign against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
He noted that the pandemic could be term as “a blessing in disguise,” due to the restrictions in physical interactions, thus, promoting the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based alternative solutions.“In Nigeria; we have remote areas, hard to reach areas, scarcity of specialists, and telemedicine can help us to reach out to them.“We are already practicing telemedicine; a patient can call his doctor and laboratory with expectation that his information will not be divulge.
“There is need of a firm technology to protect patient’s privacy and make sure no harm come to them.“To avoid implications of telemedicine, there is need to take responsibility in the sense that your patient’s information must be kept secret.”Also speaking, Prof. Ibrahim Adamu, Provost College of Health Sciences of the Bayero University Kano (BUK), said the University had put in place a team to harness human resources from various faculties including Basic Medical and Allied Health Sciences, to curb spread of the pandemic.
Adamu, represented by his deputy, Prof. Aliyu Abdul, said the team facilitated the establishment of COVID-19 testing centers at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and the University community.On his part, Dr Abdulrahaman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director of the AKTH, said that telemedicine had made it easier for patients to come close to their doctors at their convenience to get medical attention.Sheshe called on people to observe COVID-19 protocols; use of face mask, hand washing and social distancing, to stem further spread of the pandemic in the country.