International Medical Group (IMG) together with MTN Uganda sign a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a digital approach to medical access across the country.
While addressing press at the launch event held at the International Diagnostics Center (IDC), IMG Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sukhmeet Sandhu said, their mission is to improve standards of healthcare in Uganda through innovation, applied research, education and community-based services. He adds that, “As a result of the fast rise of the digital era, we are now able to realize this dream and we invite more corporate companies and the government to partner with us to improve the health and related services of the population.”
With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Joel Oroni, the General Manager at International Medical Center (IMC), a subsidiary company of IMG —noted that the pandemic has led to a digital evolution in the service delivery.
“Covid-19 taught us a number of things including; the need to go paperless and cashless. As a result, IMC recently rolled out a prepayment model using the health cards while International Hospital Kampala (IHK, another a subsidiary company of IMG) is now using an Enterprise Resource Planning system to create a seamless customer experience,” Oroni explains.
Oroni notes that they are also investing more in mobile and digital platforms to reach their customers and spread awareness about services. “Telehealth is convenient, safe and fast. I call upon you all to take advantage of this and all our available innovations to save you time and money,” says Oroni.
Adding to their remarks, MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer Mr. Sen Somdev re-echoed the need for partnerships and government support in the health sector. He echoes that, “Through this telemedicine partnership, we have established convenient, affordable and standard medical services that will be available to all people from all walks of life, everywhere.”
Somdev together with Sandhu and Oroni —called upon the government to support such innovations [telemedicine] for the benefit of all citizens. “A healthy population will definitely contribute to stimulation of economic growth,” Somdev said.
Andrew Mugalu who Heads IT at IMG and the Telemedicine Project Lead, explained to the press who the IMG-MTN Telemedicine service works.
Mugalu says patients will be scheduled on payment of a consultation fee of UGX15,000 which is payable through the MTN Mobile Money gateway. He adds the patient will then choose the mode of consultation, either audio or video depending on the client’s phone capability and connectivity. “All video consultations will be on appointment after the doctor has established the need to have a visual consultation with the patient,” emphasized Mugalu.
Where necessary, a sample will be physically collected by qualified IMC or IHK medical personnel from the patient’s home or preferred location with strict adherence to the Coid-19 safety protocols. After which test results will be shared either via email, audio call or video call by the doctor depending on the patient’s preferred option.
Medicines would then be delivered to the patient within 20kms of an IMC facility by a medical assistant. IMC is currently present in 18 locations across the country with IHK open 24 hours every day.
Mugalu further highlighted that patients will only be able to access consultancy services covering Tele-General Doctor’s consultation, Dermatology Consultations, Psychiatric Consultation, Laboratory sample Collection and Drugs delivery.