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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Herbosa: Invest in telehealth, digital programs

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Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said the government should invest in telehealth and digital literacy programs to bridge healthcare challenges in the country.

He noted, however, that the lack of electricity is a huge challenge. Herbosa added that the country’s unique geography, in which 12 percent of Filipinos lack electricity, hinders digital technology use in health care, especially in isolated areas.

Despite progress since the COVID-19 pandemic, Herbosa also noted that nearly 60% of households still lack internet access, while infrastructure remains inadequate outside the National Capital Region.

He particularly mentioned the country’s successful implementation of digital health – the advent of telemedicine that played a role in helping patients by offering remote healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under telemedicine, there is no need for a patient to visit a health facility which eventually reduces unnecessary burdens on the health system.

“As we navigate the intersection of technology and healthcare, we must remember that behind every data point and digital interface, there’s a human being seeking care and compassion,” Herbosa said.

He called on the public to harness the power of innovation responsibly, ensuring that it serves humanity rather than replacing it.

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