By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Information Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders have called for the speedy integration of e-health solutions in the country’s health sector as a way of saving the millions of naira being expended on medical tourism yearly. The stakeholders, who made the call at the ongoing eNigeria holding at the International Conference Centre in Abuja noted that, if Nigeria don’t embrace technology in some key sectors such as health, the dividends of technology may erode us as a country which will eventually lead to capital flight of health services.
The CEO of Aajimantics in Canada,Mr. Adekunle Ajiboye while speaking on the topic, ‘Roadmap towards National ICT Skills Framework Development’ said doctors in the country should be encouraged to undergo IT trainings and be digitally inclined so the country can leverage on the dividends of technology in order to reduce billions of Naira spent yearly on medical tourism outside of the country.
“It is important that our doctors are digitally inclined so we can reduce the chunk of money being spent on health tourism because that is the way forward now. Countries are turning to technology to upscale operations in many sectors and it will be good if the health sector embrace technology,” he said.
The CEO of ehealth4everyone, Dr. Ime Asangansi reckoned that if technology is deployed as well as having the necessary infrastructures being put in place by the government, Nigeria will have some of the best hospitals in the world.
He further noted that the country is blessed with brilliant medical practitioners, but they are not equipped with the modern day technology to perform efficiently and that’s why most of them will rather travel abroad where the system is efficiently equipped.
Similarly, as part of plans to promote local content development in the country to save the billions spent on capital flight of services and goods, Mr. Adekunle recommend that there should be a ‘made in Nigeria’ fund set aside for NITDA as the IT clearing house in the country to procure local IT solutions and goods for government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“I recommend that the government should be the first buyer of our solutions and set aside funds for NITDA to purchase local contents from our entrepreneurs and not just NITDA making the policy alone,” he noted