Reps Call for Research and Regulation of Telemedicine in Nigeria

Telemedicine
Reps Call for Research and Regulation of Telemedicine in Nigeria

The House of Representatives has taken a significant step towards improving healthcare accessibility and quality by urging the Federal Government to research the operations of telemedicine practitioners across the country.

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Telemedicine, which enables remote consultations between patients and healthcare practitioners via video or phone appointments, has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery by overcoming barriers such as time, distance, and location.

The resolution of the House, prompted by a motion moved by Blessing Amadi, the representative of Port Harcourt City Federal Constituency, Rivers State, underscores the importance of exploring the role of telemedicine in improving access to healthcare and the well-being of Nigerians.

Amadi emphasized that telemedicine has been operating in Nigeria for about a decade, yet there is a lack of specific legal framework for telemedicine operators. This gap poses potential risks to patients and highlights the need for regulatory oversight to ensure patient safety, data protection, and ethical considerations.

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In response to these concerns, the House called on the Federal Ministry of Health and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to conduct research on the operations of telemedicine practitioners in Nigeria. Additionally, the Committee on Healthcare Services has been tasked with convening a legislative summit with stakeholders and policymakers to develop a legal framework for telemedicine operators in the country.

This proactive approach by the House of Representatives demonstrates a commitment to harnessing the potential of telemedicine while ensuring that it operates within a regulatory framework that prioritizes patient safety and quality of care.

As Nigeria grapples with healthcare challenges, particularly the shortage of clinicians, telemedicine offers a promising solution to bridge the gap and improve healthcare access for all citizens. By laying the groundwork for regulatory oversight, the government can foster the responsible growth of telemedicine and maximize its benefits for the nation’s health system.

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