With the widespread incidence of COVID-19 in the country and its impact on healthcare delivery, the practise of telemedicine is being advocated as one of the quickest and effective means of accessing primary healthcare by the majority of Nigerians.
This position was canvassed by Adil Shaikh, the chief technology officer of MeCure, at a recently held Webinar on “Managing Health care Business During and Post COVID-19 Era” put together by Polaris Bank.
Mr Shaikh believes that telemedicine offers a game-changing solution to the country’s already overstretched medical services delivery if properly explored and harnessed by stakeholders, including financial institutions.
With respect to expanding coverage, improved and timely access to primary health care services, it was explained that Telemedicine provides patients with the opportunity to access online consultation, prescription and delivery of prescribed drugs from certified pharmacies across Nigeria.
Mr Shaikh noted however that telemedicine comes with challenges especially for providers of medical services who wish to explore the initiative, ranging from technology infrastructure, user education & general awareness and connectivity issues on the part of the consumer.
He further identified three major areas financial institutions could assist to bridge the gaps. Financial institutions could leverage reach as a result of their large customer base to generate awareness; innovate on digital payments and partner with health institutions.
Polaris Bank said the objective of the webinar among other things was to deepen the conversation on healthcare business in Nigeria and explore the huge potentials in the health sector.
The virtual engagement attracted participation from all over the world with about 5,000 participants across virtual platforms and social media handles comprising, individuals and business owners from different sectors of the economy but majorly from the healthcare value chain.
Polaris Bank describes itself as a future-determining Bank committed to the delivery of industry-defining products, and services, across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.