Written by Staff Writer
13 Oct, 2015 | 6:47 pm
The first conference of e-Health Asia 2015 was held in Colombo on Tuesday, October 13. The conference will conclude on Wednesday on the theme ICT for post 2015 challenges.
Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stated that E-health initiatives will give rise to robust health information systems that will provide comprehensive, accurate, reliable, relevant, accessible, timely and cost-effective health information for evidence-based decisions.
He went on to note that in line with this, he has formed a national e-health steering committee, a national level body for e-health governance. And that this initiative is well supported by the WHO on the report on building foundations for e-health.++
He added that through this e-health initiative they have considerably improved the information system at very low cost, and reiterated that the ultimate beneficiary of these improvements in the healthcare sector is the public of Sri Lanka.
Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, Harin Fernando stated that they are spending a large sum of money at present, to get the digital infrastructure in place but that at the same time there consists a considerable gap between the wealthy and the poor when it comes to e-health.
He went on to note that people who do not have money, skill and access to computers and networks cannot use computers effectively. As a result these, patients and populations are least likely to benefit the advantages if information technology.
He added that they are therefore taking political measures. A patient from Badulla having to come to just to see a doctor to Colombo for consultation would take a minimum 7 hours on the bus, going back would take another 7 hours and spending 3 hours in Colombo. All together would have to spend a day or 20 hours at least, just to come and see a doctor in Colombo.
As a result of this, video conferencing facilities will be initiated where the doctor will have a direct conversation with the patient – which is the next age from the digital infrastructure that we are looking at in introducing e-health.
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