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July 25, 2024
GreentvAfrica News

FG is starting to digitalize Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated the implementation committee for Nigeria’s digital in health initiative.

The FG said the implementation committee will midwife data policy, regulation, repository management and serve as an ombudsman to establish a national digital health environment that will support the scale-up of digital health interventions.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 20-person committee in Abuja, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, said the digitilisation of healthcare would help to improve patients’ experience and protection of data.

Pate said, “The platform will also improve patients’ health outcomes, and reduce costs of care by the providers at different levels, improve the work life of health providers using the tools, and for policy makers, managers to improve the effectiveness and efficiency, and be able to hold actors accountable.

“I expect that we will leverage the Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Record to increase the engagement of Nigerians with their health and the providers.”

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, said the lack of uniform data collection and management has presented the Nigerian healthcare system with numerous challenges and limited the development of the health industry.

Alausa, who is also the chairman of the committee, however, noted that the digital in health initiative will prove that digitalisation in health goes beyond EMR, and EHR platforms.

He said, “We want to rebuild and reposition the digital health environment to include data gathering, data repository, data servicing, and service regulation.

“The platform so created would be such that data can be easily validated. We shall start with an EMR system which is just a part of the overall digital ecosystem.

“Digitalising the healthcare system is one of the key elements to achieving President Bola Tinubu’s vision for the health sector. Having quality data available for use is one of the key enablers and underpins the entire health delivery system’s framework and is vital to the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s four-point agenda, which is in tandem with Mr President’s vision.”

Alausa said the national unified EMR platform would serve as a central hub to enhance health system efficiency, ensure robust monitoring of public health and disease outbreaks, mortality rates, facilitate seamless data exchange and quality assurance, and foster opportunities for further research to strengthen the national health security.

According to him, a national EMR system would enable primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare personnel to manage clinical and administrative data seamlessly across centres.

He said utilising existing national digital health policies and frameworks, members of the implementation committee would be responsible for managing the deployment, architectural design and pilot of the EMR platform, as well as providing guidance for the coordination, implementation and execution of the overarching activities at all levels to drive our health digitalisation agenda.

“The EMR platform pilot will initially begin at the federal tertiary hospitals and be implemented in one state per geo-political zone, to gauge its efficiency and accuracy. Once reviewed, we will encourage both public and private sub-national institutions to key in, allowing for a national robust and unified EMR platform.

“President Bola Tinubu’s vision for the sector is clear; to have an effective and sustainable healthcare system that will allow us to save more lives, reduce both physical and financial pain and produce health for all Nigerians.

“The formation of this 20-person committee, comprising a diverse group of individuals with extensive experience and pertinent skills in digital health, technology, and healthcare administration solidifies our steadfast dedication to fulfilling the president’s mandate to deliver Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians and regain our status as a leading nation in health productivity and care delivery,” he stated.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Daju Kachallom, noted that the initiative will save lives, reduce physical and financial pain, and produce health for all Nigerians.

She said, “As articulated in the Strategic Vision for the Health Sector (2023 – 2026), the Federal Ministry of Health & Social Welfare is committed to building an efficient, equitable and quality health system, among other strategic pillars. It is in this light that we are adopting a “digital-in-health” approach.

“This approach will digitalise the health system and entrench data-backed decision-making processes.

“The initiative is expected to be incorporated and integrated across different facets of the health system including service delivery, financing, referral management, pandemic preparedness, and research.”


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