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12.08.2009 Health

Two Hospitals Get Support

By Daily Graphic
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The Ghanaian Association in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has donated US $10,000 to the Ghana Health Service for the establishment of telemedicine centres at the Ridge Hospital in the Accra and Dodowa District Hospital.

'Under the pilot programme, the Departments of  Obsterics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Internal Medicine of the Ridge Hospital will be linked via video-conferencing to a centre at the Dodowa Hospital to facilitate diagnosis and prescriptions for patients.

Telemedicine is the application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through the phone or the Internet and  sometimes, other net work for the purpose of consulting and remote medical examinations.

Launching the programme at Dodowa, a representative of the Ghanaian community in Addis Ababa, Dr. Kwadjo Tutu, said healthcare at a distance has become practical due to the development of modern technology.

He said telemedicine is most beneficial for populations living in isolated communities and remote regions, and is currently being applied in virtually all medical conditions in the developed world.

'Telemedicine is also useful as a communication tool between a general practitioner and a specialist available at a remote location,' he said.

He explained that Dodwa was chosen to assess the practicability of the system in a rural hospital that has no specialist.

Dr. Tutu said there has been a long and successful history of 'in absentia care for rural people due to the introduction of telemedicine and expressed the hope that a similar situation will be replicated in the country.

The Medical Superintendent of the Ridge Hospital, Dr. George Acquaye, said the system will allow health professionals to effectively conduct observations and monitor health conditions of patients.

He said this new technology and principle of practicing medicine hold big promises for solving major health care problems in the country.

The Medicine Superintendent of the Dodowa District Hospitals, Dr. Alberta Amu Quartey, said the system will improve confidence in doctor-patient relationship, and also expressed commitment of the two hospitals to ensure that the project is successfully utilised.

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