Doc urges more use of technology in medicine
Medical Association of Jamaica President Dr Leslie Meade is encouraging Jamaica to embrace and improve technological advancements as means to enhance the country’s health-care system.
Presenting at a virtual speakers’ meeting hosted by the Lions Club of Kingston on Wednesday, Dr Meade highlighted the current state of Jamaica’s health care, emphasising the potential for significant improvement in quality through the introduction of telemedicine and the possible introduction of artificial intelligence.
“Telemedicine has been shown elsewhere to increase the treatment and management of non-communicable diseases, and this can be done as well in Jamaica…I think this will ensure that we can reach a larger number of people, particularly patients in the rural areas where doctors are not always readily available in the health centres to treat these patients,” he said.
He added that there needs to be more minimal invasive surgeries within the public health care system as this would help to limit wait time at hospitals through reducing recovery time for patients.
“Many times you would have heard that beds are short so patients cannot be admitted. So if you are able to get patients in, have their surgery and out the same day or sometimes the following the day that will open up more bed spaces and it also would limit the number of nurses we need to care for these patients while they are in hospital,” Meade argued.
He urged increased investments in treatment services, highlighting the negative effects of inadequate access to essential machinery for patients in the public sector.
“We have limited number of dialysis machines and many persons have had to seek care in the private sector at very high costs. Ideally, persons should be getting at least two dialysis per week, there are some who get one and there are others who may have to wait until a space becomes available, and a space becoming available means that a patient would have died,” he said.
He also used the opportunity to commend the Ministry of Health and Wellness for commencing the implementation of two electronic systems used to digitally keep track of patients’ electronic medical database.
“The ministry has been working on two electronic systems; one is the information system for health committee where they are trying to develop an electronic medical record that will be throughout the public health sector. For example, if you are in Black River Hospital and you happen to be in Kingston and something happens, your record can be pulled up on the computer,” he said.
“In addition to that, they have another system that is running parallel, which is the electronic immunisation registry which should collate all of the vaccines being given throughout Jamaica so we can get real time information on who is vaccinated,” he said.