Tanzania: Ministry Moves to Integrate Health Systems

Dodoma — The Ministry of Health has launched a smart Centre for Digital Health (CDH) as the implementation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive to reduce operational systems within the docket and in turn bring efficiency.

Speaking during a brief launch ceremony in Dodoma on Monday, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Seif Shekhalage said the facility will also help to reduce costs for the government and the public.

“We are here to witness the launch of CDH for health issues, this facility is an implementation of the President’s directive, but it will also help reduce costs, as the government spends too much money on paperwork” he said.

This facility will also help to reduce our customers’ costs as they will not have to travel long distances for accessing health services,” he added.

Dr Shekhalage further said the use of the facility would help to eliminate inefficiencies as information would be provided within the right time, thus help the ministry to take timely and effective action.

“Within this centre there is a room that will help us to see all the health information across the country, this will help to make the most of the intervention and improve the outcomes for patients by making decisions and taking timely actions,” he pointed out.

Dr Shekhalage also called upon the Ministry of Health- IT Director to ensure that the centre transforms health services by integrating all the available systems, reducing them and ensuring the health sector has no more than five systems.

“Following the importance of IT and the development of digital technology as well as this being a major agenda of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our government, the President had provided a lot of money that helped us to establish Telemedicine system as well as purchase modern equipment like digital x-rays and CT SCAN machines and as well as direct us to find ways to integrate our systems so that the ministry can operate effectively and efficiently, it is our job now to ensure we get this system done immediately,” he said.

The PS also called on the Director of the Ministry of Health to also ensure that the health business process is integrated with the Afya-care system so that all patient services information and diagnosis are read at the same time and are consistent for all hospitals to support easy access to information.

Equally, he also asked the ministry’s IT Director to ensure that he develops a human resource for health system and connect it with the Tanzania Medical Council (MCT) and the National Council of Nurses and Pharmacists to help get information on the available number of health workers.

“We must ensure that this masterpiece has the right to speed up the President’s instructions and ensure that we use it to simplify the health care delivery situation for the people,” he said.

On her part Ms Sultana Seif, the representative of the e-Government Authority Director said that IT systems are based on confidentiality of information, so this facility will help ensure citizens have access to proper confidential services and get easy access to patient information when needed.

She said that through these efforts, the government will make digital transformation in the health sector and provide healthcare more efficiently and in high-quality.


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