Minister: Digitalization crucial to health system development

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem states that digitalization is crucial to the development of the Maldivian health system, describing the handover of equipment needed to strengthen the IT infrastructure in islands on Sunday as “the foundation” of the government’s efforts to digitalize the health system.

The handover of IT equipment to islands was held on Sunday morning, in a ceremony attended by Vice President Faisal Naseem.

Speaking at the ceremony, Naseem noted the scattered geographic composition of Maldives, and said that digitalization holds the key to providing healthcare services in the country.

“The work we begin today is the foundation for our vision for the digitalization of the health system. We cannot realize this vision without a strong IT infrastructure,” he said.

Naseem said the challenges facing the health system isn’t limited to lack of resources alone, but also the collection, management and sharing of patient information.

He said that instead of a digitalized system, healthcare professionals had to write everything down manually, and store the information in books.

“The only resources we had for this back then were pens and pencils, paper, and walkie-talkies,” he said.

Naseem said the developments to the healthcare system has resulted in several convenient changes.

He said that it is important to change how healthcare services are provided, and that digitalization is the key to making the change.

“The efforts to digitalize the health sector is a promising initiative that will ensure greater utilization of technology and affect transformative changes to the health system,” he said.

During Sunday’s ceremony, IT equipment was provided to five regional hospitals, 15 atoll hospitals, and 163 health centers across the country.

The health facilities received 608 computer systems, 44 laptops, 500 tablets, 14 video conference systems, and 551 printers.

The project is valued at MVR 56 million.