Patient Doctor Ratio Pushes More Players into Telemedicine

In an error of digitization, role players in improving primary health care are saying tele medicine should be the way to go.

This concept which has been growing over time was much more realized following the outbreak of Covid-19. During this time, as result of restricted movement a lot of online platforms came up to aid people in self-medicating and testing.

This week on Thursday, NetDoc Medicare, a telemedicine company revealed that there would be an official launch soon for a campaign dubbed Health Care on the Go.

The purpose of this campaign is to provide on-demand access to quick health care services digitally through a user friendly NetDoc Telemedicine application. Their drive for this stems from the long standing battle with the doctor patient ratio in our country.

Statistics indicate that in Uganda, the doctor-patient ratio stands at 1:24,000. While the government has battled this for long with the rest of Africa at large, not even the additional force medical interns has solved it.

As a result, the high demand leads to very long waiting periods at healthy facilities , neglect of seeking health care by patients and untimely death because of delayed attention , to mention but a few.

This innovation will see to it that individuals can consult from a pool of over 350 health specialists, access prescription and a number of medical services wherever they are, away from health facilities.

According to projection penetration of smart phones across the continent is expected to grow to over 690 million handsets by 2025 due to dropping prices. In Uganda still less than half the population have phones connected to the internet, the growth curve nevertheless has been encouraging even with models of paying in instalments to acquire a smartphone.

Richard Olowo, the Marketing Manager at NecDoc while speaking to journalist emphasized that with fast emerging technology health care crises like waiting time at health facilities should no longer be a problem.
“In today’s fast-paced world, waiting for medical care is not an option,” says Olowo.

Mary Kyobwire, a student at Kampala International University as a member in a community to be impacted by such innovations mentions that as a regular internet user, receiving health care has eased her quick response to managing her health. She says; “Personally I find it hard to go to health care centers for examination, I do a lot of self-testing because of cost but also inconvenience of moving while in pain, if I can order medicine to be brought to me it will be very helpful.”

Mujansi Waiswa on the other hand, a graphics designer in Kamwokya notes that while he used to be skeptical about such innovations, it worked for him during Covid-19 when he contacted Rocket Health. “The more we have such avenues the more friendly medical care will become. We do not enjoy visiting hospitals. Especially for minor sicknesses.”

Dr. Faith Namukasa, notes that this is not a strange concept as it is with normal routine that once in a while patients make phone calls to consult on their health and they are able to get the necessary help.

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