Obaseki explores telemedicine to tackle brain drain in healthcare system

Obaseki explores telemedicine to tackle brain drain in healthcare system

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is exploring opportunities in telemedicine to address the problem of brain drain in the health sector.

Obaseki said this during a tour of facilities at the Edo Specialist Hospital and the Edo State Health Management Agency which are venues for the ongoing free medical healthcare outreach in the state.

The five-day medical mission for over 4,000 residents is being organized in collaboration with the Association of Nigeria Physicians in the Americas (ANPA).

Obaseki said the state’s extensive broadband infrastructure in Benin City, put in place by his administration, will support the telemedicine system.

He said, “We are faced with brain drain in the healthcare system and one option we are looking at is to find a way around it by working with our health specialists from the Americas and setting up telemedicine facilities in the state.

“We have an extensive broadband infrastructure in place in Benin City, and we are looking at the possibility of having telemedicine facilities in all our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) since we have the technology to track cases, review them and send them to specialists in their clinics in Americas, particularly in the United State to review the cases using technology. With the model, they can interface with the patients and if surgery is required, they can now direct the process from where they are in the Americas.”

Obaseki promised to sustain ongoing reforms in the healthcare system, ensuring that Edo people get efficient and quality healthcare services.

On his part, the President of ANPA, Christopher Okunseri said with telemedicine, individuals can contact physicians in the Americas from the comfort of their homes using technology and get the needed attention immediately.

He said, “ANPA is committed to ensuring that the telemedicine service works as the difference in time zone will not stop us from implementing this telemedicine through the PHCs. We are determined to ensure the delivery of better healthcare services to the Edo people.

"ANPA was the first organization to hold a virtual medical mission to Calabar. We did that a year ago as we did telemedicine across the globe. We examined patients through cameras, diagnosed them, and referred them for investigation. Telemedicine in Edo State is actualizable.”

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