Home News FG inaugurates 20-member committee for healthcare digitalisation

FG inaugurates 20-member committee for healthcare digitalisation

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, on Friday inaugurated a 20-member committee for the implementation of Nigeria Digital-in-Health Initiative’ (NDHI) for the management of patients data.

Pate, at the inauguration in Abuja, said the digitisation of patients’ records would improve patients’ experience and protection of data.

The minister said the platform was aimed at improving patients’ health outcomes and reduce cost of care by the providers at different levels.

According to Pate, using the platform will improve the work life of the health providers, and at the same time aid policy makers and managers to improve on their effectiveness and efficiency and be able to hold other stakeholders accountable.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, who is the Chairman of the committee, said that what existed presently in the health sector was lack of uniform data collection and management.

Dr Alausa said that the development had presented the healthcare system with numerous challenges.

According to him, the situation has limited the development of the health industry, weakened its decision-making and resulted in inefficient use of resources.

“It has also made it difficult to have a comprehensive view of the healthcare environment.

“Our healthcare system further suffers from data fragmentation as only a small number of private institutions and federal institutions use Electronic Medical Record (EMR)/ Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms to keep track of patient data.

“Promote research, provide treatment, and manage operations and resources, while the majority still rely on rudimentary paper-based methods.

“In spite of the existence of these few EMR/EHR platforms, none are standardised to integrate, collect, and manage data across institutions or built to succinctly share patient data in real time.

“This has also led to significant quality gaps in the healthcare system.

“Therefore, the transition to a digital health infrastructure is not merely a choice but a necessity to revolutionise healthcare delivery in our country.”

On the duties of the committee, Alausa said it would midwife data policy, regulation, repository management and serve as an ombudsman to establish a national digital health environment.

As for the implementation, he said that the EMR platform pilot would initially begin at the federal tertiary hospitals and be implemented in one state per geo-political zone to gauge its efficiency and accuracy.

“Once reviewed, we will encourage both public and private sub-national institutions to key in, allowing for a national robust and unified EMR platform.

“The formation of this 20-person committee, comprising a diverse group of individuals with extensive experience and pertinent skills in digital health, technology, healthcare administration.

“This solidifies our steadfast dedication to fulfilling the president’s mandate to deliver Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Nigerians.

“We would also regain our status as a leading nation in health productivity and care delivery,” he said.

Alausa noted that the initiative is also expected to create economic spinoffs that would include job creation, unlock new levels of the sector’s value chain, increase revenue, and significantly contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s gross domestic product.

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