Family Health Group – a collaboration between Premier Private Medical School, Family Health Hospital and Family Health Nursing School, and Apollo Hospital, India – and Airtel Ghana have introduced Telemedicine to provide ‘clinical healthcare at a distance.’
With the introduction of Telemedicine at Family Health Medical School, sick patients who have to travel outside Ghana to seek for medical care are eliminated. All they need to do is to book with Family Health Hospital by calling 0307086160 for a live medical consultation with world class Doctors in India and USA.
The Telemedicine innovation at Family Health Medical School among other things would enhance knowledge for their medical students, cut cost and hours of waiting for patients and open avenues to train their maintenance unit.
Speaking as a Special Guest of Honour during the launch of the Telemedicine facility, the Minister for Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman commended the President of Family Health Medical School, Prof. Yao Kwawukume and the entire management team for introducing such a bold innovation to aid patients and medical students in Ghana.
She revealed that education has everything to do with medicine and urged Family Health Group to use the telemedicine to share knowledge and heal more people for the country to get a healthy population.
Prof. Jane Opoku Agyeman was of the hope that as Prof. Kwawukume and his team move forward, they would let the innovation be both content and methodology, adding, ‘’telemedicine expands the sharing of information towards improving healthcare delivery’’.
ICT, according to the Education Minister has to do with everything in everywhere, saying it is a tool for learning, analysis, creation, maintenance, improvement etc. She was particularly impressed with the hospital’s willingness to embrace innovation.
She suggested to Management of Family Health Group that, as students are being trained, they should develop their communication skills.
The Minister expressed her gratitude to Prof. Yao Kwawukume for having plumbers, electricians, masons and carpenters at heart, by deciding to give them training through the telemedicine facility and hopefully pursue degree courses in a university.
She said the relationship between Family Health Medical School and Apollo Hospitals of India is an example of south, south cooperation.
The President of Family Health Medical School, Professor Yao Kwawukume in his welcome address disclosed that, the Telemedicine would enable Family Health Group to communicate effectively with their counterparts in Asia, particularly India, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University in the USA and also their counterparts in Britain and South Africa.
‘’We would in due course link with our affiliate University, The University of Ghana, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Korle Bu,’’ he disclosed.
In education, Prof. Kwawukume said their students, post graduate students and the nursing students would have complete access to the facility all day round and would enhance the number of lecturers the school will have.
In addition, they would use the telemedicine facility to have continuous medical education with their counterparts in other areas of the world so that their students would not feel disadvantaged.
‘’Telemedicine will also be used to seek second opinion in the health sector so that in cases of doubtful diagnosis we can discuss our problems with the rest of the world especially our doctors in the diaspora who have already shown a lot of interest in joining us to teach our medical students’’.
Teaching, according to Prof. Kwawukume is their goal in the Medical School and therefore, would use the telemedicine facility to get their plumbers, electricians, masons and carpenters to see what is done in the outside world in other to upgrade their standards and become better technicians to help the hospital and the medical school.
He gave instances where, Telemedicine was most favored in the prisons many years ago when it was developed, saying it allowed specialists to see inmate patients who were hardened criminals from a safe and far away distance.
The Chairman for the occasion, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey also added that technology has made a big difference in education, pointing out that interactions between students and their lecturers today are far different from their days.
He said technology has changed everything and commended Prof. Kwawukume for his visionary leadership, saying the world is changing and everybody must prepare to change before they are left behind.
By William Sarpong