Article Summary

  • The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said that the government’s NigComHealth platform will facilitate easy access to doctors for Nigerians
  • The platform launched in Abuja is to be implemented across Nigeria including rural and remote areas.
  • The Minister urged stakeholders in the health sector, both public and private to onboard into the initiative.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has revealed that the recently launched telemedicine platform, NigComHealth, will give room for millions of Nigerians to have access to quality healthcare and bridge the existing gap between doctors and patients in the country.

While noting that each physician in Nigeria is attending to more than 5,000 patients in a stark contrast with WHO’s recommendation of 1 doctor to 600 patients, Pantami stated that Nigeria requires at least 363,000 additional doctors to meet this target. He, however, expressed confidence that with the telemedicine platform, all Nigerians can have access to a doctor, irrespective of their location.

According to him, the platform, which was launched by Nigeria Communications Satellite Ltd (NigComSat), in partnership with Ethnomet, a Canadian leading firm in healthcare technology would promote a more efficient and effective healthcare system that could be accessible to all Nigerians.

The Minister noted that the Federal Government and Ethnomet have partnered with indigenous tech implementation company Sawtrax to implement the platform across Nigeria. This will make it possible for Nigerians in any part of the country, including rural and remote areas, to book and attend appointments with qualified and specialized doctors.

Leveraging technology for health

Speaking at the launch of the platform, Pantami explained that the new telemedicine platform combines innovative technology with advanced medical tools and pre-vetted licensed healthcare practitioners, enabling virtual medical visits that are secure, efficient, and personalized.

  • “NigComHealth Multi-tenant Virtual Healthcare Service Platform is designed for all hospitals to be able to integrate their healthcare professionals and offer digital health services to the Nigerian population.
  • “There is an urgent need to leverage disruptive technology to improve access to healthcare services and quality medical practitioners available within Nigeria and across the globe. Therefore, NigComHealth Platform is a timely solution that could ensure that quality healthcare services are available to all Nigerians, irrespective of their locations,” he said.

The Minister further encouraged stakeholders in the health sector, both public and private to onboard into the initiative.

Also speaking, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. James Christoff, said the platform will be a game changer in improving health outcomes, especially in underserved and remote areas.

  • “The technology has been developed with the vision and strategic objective of having over 80 Federal and State-owned Government hospitals coexist on the platform. The platform is also meant to provide digital health services to 1.7 million public sector workers and their families in Nigeria,” he said.

He applauded both the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and the Federal Ministry for Health, for their vision, and unparalleled commitment to the promotion, technology and health innovation in Nigeria.

On his part, the Managing Director of NigComSat Ltd, Engineer Tukur Lawal,  said that the platform will reduce the massive capital flight spent by Nigerians on medical tourism annually.

He added that the platform will provide Nigerians with the opportunity to access affordable and world-class services from professionals regardless of their geographic location, without the need to travel to urban areas.