Kampala, Uganda | Julius Businge | MTN Uganda and International Medical Group and International Medical Center have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide digital health services across the country.
Telemedicine is a situation where a medical doctor interacts or offers medical services to a patient through internet enabled devices like computers, smartphones.
Speaking at the event launch at International Diagnostics Center, in Kampala on March 03, executives said, patients will be scheduled on payment of a consultation fee of Shs15, 000 through the MTN mobile money platform.
The patient will then be served through audio or video using a smart phone.
Where necessary, executives said, a sample will be physically collected by qualified IMC or IHK medical personnel from the patient’s location. Medicines will then be delivered to the patient.
The IMG Chief Executive Officer Sandhu Sukhmeet, said specialised, digitized and decentralised medical care is the way to go now.
“All of us are directly or indirectly connected to the healthcare system,” Sukhmeet said.
The MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer Sen Somdev, said telemedicine services will respond to medical emergencies that will occur to people. He said MTN Uganda has made enough investments in its network to support initiatives of this nature.
Daniel Okello Ayen, the director in charge of public health and environment, said telemedicine has opened up the medical field and that the people who will move fast will easily adapt to the technology.
He said the environment to offer telemedicine services is supportive because telemedicine health policy was past some years ago.
As the initiative takes root, questions will remain whether rural and vulnerable communities can ably benefit from telemedicine services, which is widely connected to the elite, exposed, rich and high-tech individuals.
According to the communications sector report for September 2019, published by Uganda Communication Commission, Uganda’s internet subscription (mobile) stood at about 15million; internet penetration at about 37.9% and estimated internet users were reported to be approx.23million.