Telemedicine May Come To Nevis
October 05, 2009
“Telemedicine has the potential to be a key enabler in the transformation of health care delivery to the island,” said Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry at the University of Virginia Health Care Center last Tuesday.
By overcoming barriers in distance and time, telemedicine has been noted as an effective and efficient system to access and /or deliver health care services, health education and health system management.
The Premier noted that the videoconferencing that he observed at one of the University Health facilities can be designed to meet the special needs of patients in remote locations. “Once this is implemented on the island it can be another boost for the health care system on Nevis.”
According to Director of Operations, Elizabeth Brennan Wright, “Since 1995, thousands of clinical encounters linking the University of Virginia specialists, patients and health professionals, including an international clientele have received cost effective medical services.”
Mr. Charles A. Lewis, of the Telecommunications Videoconference Network Analyst at the University of Virginia Health System, said the process is simple. First, the office of telemedicine at the University of Virginia is contacted for a telemedicine encounter. At the appointed time, the patient registers at the designated remote telemedicine site. The patient is introduced to the consultant at the live interactive videoconference. The consultant asks a series of health-related questions and then the patient is examined through high resolution video equipment and a sound system.
After the examination is complete, the patient’s health care provider may confer with the consultant. Often a diagnosis can be made and treatment suggested.
Meanwhile, after observing the telemedicine process the Premier thanked the Ebenezer Baptist Church International Missions and Pastor Lehman D. Bates for hosting him in Virginia, making his trip financially possible and introducing him to the Telemedicine concept.
According to Premier Parry, “The benefits of telemedicine are obvious. It reduces time, cost and risk of travel for patients, family and health care providers.”
The EBC International Mission has been visiting St. Kitts and Nevis over the years, bringing medical supplies and facilitating free health care screenings and check ups on the twin island nation.