The Lagos State Government has revealed its plan to develop a telehealth model as a way of enhancing rural people’s access to primary healthcare across the state.
Dr Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, said the introduction of the telemedicine service tagged ‘EKOTELEMED’ in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided essential healthcare services and reduced the risk of contagiousness on both residents and medical personnel.
While speaking at the kick-off of the implementation research, which was held at Sojourner Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, he noted that health is a cardinal focus in the ‘THEMES PLUS’ agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stressing that the state government is committed to the provision of affordable, efficient and equitable healthcare services to its residents.
Dr Olufunmilayo Shokunbi, the Director of Medical Administration and Training, Ministry of Health, who represented Dr Ogboye, said the state government had reinforced public healthcare facilities, engaged in a recruiting drive for healthcare professionals, and invested in healthcare infrastructure at both the primary and secondary levels to boost the supply side of the healthcare industry.
“As we embark on a mission to explore, evaluate and implement telehealth solutions that will transform the way that we deliver healthcare.
"I urge everyone to share knowledge, exchange best practices, and develop innovative strategies that will drive the successful implementation of telehealth across the State”, he said.
Dr Ogboye also inaugurated a 10-member Committee to steer the conduct of the first implementation research to test Equitable Digital-First care and explore telehealth potentials.
In her welcome remarks, the General Manager of Lagos State Health Management Agency, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, said telehealth has the potential to close the accessibility gap in healthcare, remove geographic barriers, and guarantee patient outcomes in an era of rapid technological advancements.
She added that since EKOTELEMED began operation in the State, telehealth has proven to have an enormous potential for bridging the gap between patients and healthcare professionals.
Dr Zamba explained that LASHMA is prepared to conduct an 18-month telehealth implementation research study and other digital health services to incorporate the same as an integral part of ‘ILERA EKO’ basic plan.
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