The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has identified the need to enhance healthcare delivery system in the country through the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and ensure its full deployment in the sector.
At a breakfast meeting held in Lagos recently, organised by the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), themed: Improving Quality Outcomes through Health Information Technology, the National Chairman of NMA, Dr. Francis Adedayo Fajuyile, noted that the traditional ways of delivering health care has led to thousands of death and serious injuries each year in the past.
He said most healthcare centres in Nigeria were predominantly on paper based health information system, adding that record retrievals and application of information technology are still at the rudimentary level in most health care centres in the country.
In his keynote address, he revealed that the gamut of the emerging 21st century medical technology is a recent development, hence should be adopted to ensure proper health records of patients, reporting all health diagnosis to the government data base and strict confidentiality of disease management.
Fajuyile maintained the need to encourage local capacity building in the deployment of information technology in the health sector.
He added that there’s need for stringent legislation in the country that would be tasked to monitor the regulatory framework and ensure that patient security is properly managed.
Speaking at the event, the President, NACC, Mr. Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said the topic was significant in many ways; ”it’s becoming increasingly clear that the traditional ways of solving health problems is becoming outdated so there is need for quality investment in information technology in the health care sector to improve healthcare delivery in the country.”
He noted that the effective use of communication and technology by strategically incorporating ICT tools into health care delivery is a great potential to improve health care quality and safety, ensure public health service delivery on information and facilitate clinical and consumer decision-making to build health skills and knowledge.
He further explained that lack of adequate funding in the medical sector has deepened the crisis in health-care delivery in developing countries, particularly Nigeria.
Also speaking, President, Healthcare Foundation of Nigeria, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, noted that there’s a direct correlation between health and wealth.
She said the moribund healthcare centres in the country have a direct catastrophic effect on families and infant mortality.