The Edo State government said it would commence telemedicine services in the state on Tuesday, June 7, to enable vulnerable persons have access to medical professionals and efficient healthcare.
Edo State Commissioner for Health, Obehi Akoria, disclosed this to journalists on Saturday at one of the telemedicine facilities at Oredo primary health centre in Benin City, the state capital.
Akoria said the services would leverage the primary healthcare centres to deliver medical care to patients at a distance using the existing broadband infrastructure.
She said that the programme will provide quality healthcare services to Edo residents for free, adding that they have attended to above 25 persons since it began on Saturday, May 28.
“They consult our doctors in the United States of America. Doctors abroad sit in their offices and we schedule patients for them to see.
“The doctors in America will be on the screen, talking to the patients in Benin, asking questions, making decisions, at the end, write prescriptions and the patients go home with their medicines which is free.
“There will be an official launch of this program on Tuesday. The launch is to tell the world that it has been tested and proven that it is possible. We have people who have benefited from it. On that Tuesday, our partners from the United States of America will be physically on ground. Last Saturday, we saw 12 patients and that has been going on like this since. This is something we intend to strengthen.
“The first phase was the proof of concept phase. We have passed that stage, it is working seamlessly. We are at the pilot phase and we need to strengthen it. The next phase is for us to scale, and it will be outside Benin so that over time, we can go outside.
“Now, we are scaling, we are using this place for now. We are moving to Ugbor Primary Healthcare Centre and from there, we will gradually scale to other places. If there is a problem in Auchi or Ibilo, the same way somebody stays in America and talk to someone in Benin and sort out a problem that will be the same done in Auchi,” she stated.