By Patrick Opio
Senior Communications Officer
People from Lango sub-region and northern Uganda in need of cancer screening and other medical services no longer have to travel distances before they can access care, as Lira University Teaching Hospital embraces telemedicine, a practice which allows the remote delivery of healthcare services.
Dr Okello Tom, a senior Surgeon and the Director of Clinical Services at the Teaching Hospital says that using the recently procured computer system stuffed with specialised software app, screen and computerised microscopic machine, healthcare providers at the hospital now evaluate, diagnose and treat patients.
Dr Okello adds that applying telecommunications technology such as computers for video conferencing with other specialised doctors from across the world and electronic devices like smartphones, has boosted and enhanced diagnosis of patients’ illnesses including cancer.
“We do not need to just or simply refer suspected cancer patients to National Cancer Institute, Mulago, but first share the sample electronically with specialised cancer doctors for further action and diagnosis, hence cutting the costs of travelling and others on the patients’ side,” he explains.
Dr Okello reveals that telemedicine services at the hospital aims at reducing the time it takes for people to access health care at the facility and increases access to all categories of patients including the poor and disabled persons.
To enforce and enhance telemedicine services, Dr Okello Tom reveals that the Lira University Teaching Hospital is in collaborations with specialised doctors from selected Teaching hospitals and other hospitals across the world.
“Our Customers should be able to get better and affordable access to good quality health care which is our mission. We are happy when they are healthy,” Dr Okello asserts.
Dr Okello Tom noted that the Teaching Hospital has also acquired a modern and digital Diagnostic ultrasound machine used to evaluate a patient’s internal organs including during pregnancy to check the baby’s development, the presence of a multiple pregnancy and to help pick up any abnormalities.
He encouraged pregnant women to prefer delivering at the hospital for more safety and access to better and enhanced service delivery by experienced specialised doctors here.