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 Tuesday, May 21, 2013
E-health initiative, an electronic health delivery system, was launched on last Friday to enable doctors reach their patients online and bring health care to the door steps of the citizenry.

The E-health initiative, a remote doctor/patient interface allows a patient to see a doctor without leaving his home or office.
It does not seek to prevent patients from visiting hospital but to augment existing health care delivery services.

The launch was on the theme: “Convenience in Health Care Delivery” and has a safe harbour statement: “We do not handle emergency cases”.

To assess the product one has to go online to book an appointment with a doctor on ehealthghana.com after which an appointment coordinator will assign doctors to patient depending on the ailment.

Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, a former Director General of Ghana Health Service, who launched the product, said the country’s health care is patterned on the colonial model, and health care could only be assessed at the capital, regional and district levels thereby creating a missing link in the peripherals.

He said if the initiative is rolled out properly many people would benefit from health care services irrespective of the distance, especially in a technologically advanced era.
Prof Akosa, however, noted that the challenge is with internet penetration in the country but expressed the hope that with fibre optic gaining grounds is positive light at the end of the tunnel.

He welcomed the initiative and said it would beneficial to the rural areas where E-kiosk fitted with e-health internet would be placed and operated by a volunteer and an interpreter.

Prof Edmund Delle, Founder of Rabito Clinic, lauded the initiative but cautioned that sustainability is very crucial to the success of the scheme.
“What is the use of a specialist whose activities are confined to his office while the rural areas are underserved”, he said.

Prof Delle noted that “an initiative which enables a doctor or specialist to reach out to more people without traveling too much for outreach programmes is very much welcomed”.

Mr Patrick Dasoberi, originator of the E-health Initiative, said it would serve as a platform for doctors, to share ideas and experiences relating to patients, as well as a network for pharmacists, laboratory technicians, volunteers, service couriers, who are the core of the scheme.

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