Embrace Telehealth: Health Service Providers, Practitioners Urged

Health service providers and practitioners should embrace telehealth to enhance access to primary healthcare to citizens, especially in remote areas.

This came out at the ongoing Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) annual conference which is being held here.

Vice-President General (Retired) Costantino Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister is expected to officially open the conference this morning.

Participants yesterday said both health service providers and practitioners should embrace telehealth, also called telemedicine or virtual online consulting.

Presenting on the use of telehealth facilities and lessons learnt, Dr Katlego Mothudi who is managing director for the board of Healthcare Funders in South Africa, said remote consulting and diagnosis is key in improving primary healthcare.

He said while Covid-19 intensified the need for remote healthcare provision, the pandemic should not be taken as the end to the need.

“Telehealth is mainly a tool for not just funders but practitioners as well to increase access to health. This was brought to the fore by Covid-19 but we should not look at the pandemic as the end to the need. Telehealth takes service to areas where it has not been there before, being able to transport health service to patients in rural areas as service is done remotely.

“It even helps doctor-to-doctor consultations as they get expert opinion from colleagues elsewhere which will ultimately reduce the need for people to travel long distances in search of specialist care,” said Dr Mothudi. Chronicle

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