More Hospitals to Treat Patients Online

A person using a phone
  • The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council  (KMPDC) on Sunday, February 21, began the issuance of licenses for various health institutions to offer telemedicine services countrywide.

    KMPDC, which issued provisional approvals to 20 health facilities in 2020, has further increased the scope to give annual licenses to registered and licensed health facilities offering virtual health services.

    Last year, the approvals were not officially documented as they only granted permission for the health facilities to offer virtual consultation health services.

    A person using a phone

    “The move by the Council to issue licenses to facilities to offer telemedicine is a response to a growing need for the services due to physical distancing rules imposed by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19,†said KMPDC acting Corporation Secretary, Michael Onyango.

    Despite the fact that Kenya has not put in place laws regulating telemedicine, the Council managed to develop E-Health guidelines in 2019 which were approved and gazetted by the relevant government authorities.

    Telemedicine first took root in Kenya during the wake of Covid-19 through mobile clinics, home visiting doctor services, air medical services, and online pharmaceutical care.

    KMPDC’s move aims at promoting Universal Health Coverage by increasing access to healthcare services. 
    “The rules will offer a base for the full rollout of telemedicine services in Kenya,†Onyango said.

    The Council projects growth in e-services which have facilitated the setting up of a regulatory framework for E-health in Kenya. The Code of Conduct for medical and dental practitioners is also under review in an effort to align it to technology-driven health services.

    The use of ICT in the health sector has largely been absorbed in the Kenyan legal framework with enabling laws falling majorly in Health and ICT; some of which include The Health Act, the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, the Data Protection Act, and the Consumer Protection Act.

    Kenya’s switch to digital services also majorly affected the education sector that kept learners engaged during the lockdown period.

    Meru level 5 hospital
    Inside Meru Level 5 hospital in Meru town, Meru County.

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