‘Embrace telemedicine to salvage mass exit of Nigerian doctors’, govt urged – Veloxnews


By Chinenye AnuforoUS-based Nigerian Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Dr. Oyetokunbo Ibidapo-Obe Somorin, has admonished the Federal Government of Nigeria to embrace the adoption of telemedicine to reduce the effects of the mass exodus of Nigerian medical practitioners to Western nations.This was revealed during an interactive radio programme entitled “Digital Life” on Nigeria Info, which aims to bring both Nigerians and the government closer to global technological realities.The session, which was entitled “Tech Advancements and Telemedicine,” featured intellectual conversations around the need for the practice of telemedicine to be embraced by the government across all levels to enable Nigerians, particularly those residing in rural communities, to have access to quality healthcare services. This is because telemedicine thrives on the strength of technological advancements to connect people to medical doctors irrespective of their location.Commenting on the need for the massive adoption of telemedicine across the country, Ibidapo-Obe noted that the successes recorded nationwide during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic could be built upon to deepen the healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria which could also serve as a stopgap to the mass exit of Nigerian doctors.“The outbreak of COVID-19 played an integral role in bringing the practice of telemedicine to the forefront across the globe, including in Nigeria. This is because telemedicine proved to be the most viable option for containing the risk levels of COVID-19. As such, to ensure telemedicine succeeds amongst those at the grassroots level in Nigeria, deliberate efforts must be put in place to ensure adequate resources are available to both the healthcare providers and the users of the telemedicine services nationwide irrespective of their social status,” she said.To further enhance the smooth adoption of telemedicine in Nigeria among residents in rural areas, the doctor noted that the usage of toll-free numbers could further drive success rates across the nation.“Over the years, access to data and smartphone devices has been a major challenge impeding the penetration of telemedicine in Nigeria. However, the creative use of toll-free lines could help proffer a sustainable solution that could enhance the usage of telemedicine solutions across the country. This is, therefore, a viable option the government can adopt as it enables those in the rural parts of the country to enjoy the benefits of telemedicine,” she said.According to Fortune Business Insights, telemedicine is projected to be worth $396.76 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate of 25.8% across the world.

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