From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Doctors have called on government at all levels to make the provision of new technologies in hospitals a priority. This, they said, would help to improve the quality of medical services rendered to patients.
President, Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON), Dr. Nnaedozie Obiegbu, made the call while delivering an address at the 2021 World Family Doctors’ Day, themed “Building the Future with Family Doctors,” in Awka, Anambra State.
Obiegbu, a consultant family physician, said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the rot in Nigeria’s healthcare system and revealed the need for modern technologies in clinics for improved service.
“The turn of the 21st Century has seen the development of information technology and virtual connections, which have, in recent times (with the on-going pandemic), led to the use of such platforms for more fundamental needs such as productivity and healthcare.
“The future of health and care will be a matrix of services available online; a system that connects patients in real time to high quality health information as well as personnel to guide them as they navigate through the complexities of seeking care.
“New technologies provide the versatility and ease required to help patients prevent, understand and manage illness, while navigating health systems and setting health goals.
“This model of healthcare is fully compatible with the practice of family medicine, providing increasing opportunities to fulfil an even more central role in healthcare.
“As a matter of operational policy, we can and must provide a broader scope of services to each individual patient, and in the year 2021 this means we must embrace the digital revolution and rapidly work to incorporate 21st century technology into the practice of family medicine.
“One of such technologies is the telemedicine approach to healthcare delivery, especially in this period of COVID-19 pandemic,” Obiegbu said.
Contributing, a consultant family physician at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Dr. Agada Owulo, encouraged families to embrace family health practice, saying that it was more economical, efficient and convenient.
“Family practice helps to cut costs even on the part of the government when it comes to healthcare delivery. It is one of the ways we can actually achieve universal health coverage,” Owulo said.