Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth
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Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth



Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth by Dr Joseph Amuzu ,Adviser, Health Section Commonwealth Secretariat

Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth by Dr Joseph Amuzu ,Adviser, Health Section Commonwealth Secretariat



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  • 11/06/09

Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth Presentation Transcript

  • 1. 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat The Commonwealth 53 nations one community
  • 2. ECOSOC Africa Regional Ministerial meeting on e-health – use of information and communication technology for health 10-11 June 2009 Accra, Ghana
    • A presentation by the Commonwealth Secretariat
    • Addressing e-health policies and strategies in the Commonwealth
    • by
    • Dr Joseph Amuzu
    • Adviser, Health Section
    • Commonwealth Secretariat
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 3. Where are we?
    • The May 2008 Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (CHMM) focused on e-health.
    • An e-health survey results from the Commonwealth was presented at the meeting.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 4.
    • Challenges identified in the survey
    • E-health initiatives varied widely
    • Isolated e-health
    • Change management
    • The scale and time of implementation
    • Financing e-health
    • Technological challenges
    • Ethical Challenges
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 5. Varied e-health initiatives
    • Multiple examples of e-health in health manpower training, development of HIS
    • Fewer examples for procurement/logistics, leadership training, clinical service delivery
    • Initiatives not linked to coherent strategy, uncoordinated, donor supported, mainly with NGOs
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 6.
    • Change management
    • E-health is “additional work without remuneration”
    • “ We need to perceive technology as an additional tool to facilitate improved efficiency in the delivery of health care and not as a ‘monster’ waiting to expose us”
      • “ The need for training for Ministry staff and service providers in computer literacy; the design of new clinical and working practices; user support and project management.
    • A lot of technophobia among staff and senior officers.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 7. Financing e-health
    • Commonwealth countries report that the main financial challenges relate to equipment and telecommunications infrastructure
    • Projects were financed by a mixture of public and donor funds.
    • The benefits of e-health for developing countries are well known but the financial costs are not.
    • Few case studies on the financial costs of e-health in developing countries.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 8.
    • Predominant issue identified in survey was patient privacy and confidentiality of medical records
    • There may be a trade off between improved quality and access versus the risk of reduced security and confidentiality
    • Intellectual property rights between public and private sectors must be clarified
    Legal and ethical issues 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 9.
    • E-health requires long term planning between Health, Finance and Technology Ministries/sectors
    • Simpler technology often produces better results
    • Financial sustainability can be a challenge for e-health
    • ICT that reaches rural areas may contribute more to MDGs than urban interventions
    Lessons Learned 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 10. The CHMM 2008 mandated the Commonwealth Secretariat to work in e-health.
    • The specific mandates were:
    • Convene high-level consultations involving Ministers of Health and Ministers with responsibility for ICTs;
    • Promote the exchange of e-health expertise between Commonwealth countries;
    • Seek funding to support interventio ns.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 11. 1. Ministerial Dialogues
    • One Dialogue held for Ministers of Health & Ministers responsible for ICT from the East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) region.
    • The aim was to:
      • Enable ministries for health and technology to share information and collaborate effectively;
      • Support health ministries in developing realistic, affordable e-health strategies and investment plans;
      • Expand e-health capacity and capabilities.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 12. Outcomes of the Dialogue
    • Ministers identified some issues of concern
      • ICT and health policies and strategies
      • e-legislation in the ECSA region
      • e-health standards
      • e-health infrastructure
      • Capacity and the need for capacity-building in ICTs
    • They requested reviews of these challenges
    • They identified priority areas for action and
    • Set up a technical working group on e-health
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 13. The priority actions
    • Ministers requested the Commonwealth Secretariat and its partners to help:
    • countries develop their policies and strategies
    • countries develop guidelines on equipment procurement and ICT sourcing strategy
    • in designing tools for auditing existing health informatics and telemedicine training
    • establish health sector-wide training programmes including leadership training on e-health and ICT
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 14. 2. The technical working group
    • The TWG included representatives from Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, WHO/AFRO, AU and was supported by an expert from South Africa.
    • The TWG was tasked to:
      • review the main approaches to e-health policies and strategies and
      • to draft a framework for an assessment of the status of e-health in the region.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 15. Results
    • A methodology and templates for e-health policies and strategies developed
    • A questionnaire for the assessment of the status of e-health developed
      • It is a tool for auditing existing e-health infrastructure and capacity based on WHO and Bellagio frameworks.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 16.
    • The methodology
      • The methodology involves bringing together all stakeholders: Ministries of Health, ICT and Finance, civil society, the private sector mainly telecom companies, doctors and nurses associations and development partners.
      • The information from the templates proves to be useful in developing the policy and strategy.
    • The Templates
      • Is based on e-health Strategy Loop
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 17.
    • E-health Strategy Loop
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 18. 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat Leadership Who are the leaders? Who should they lead? What skills and knowledge do they need?
  • 19. 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
    • Change management
    • Identify stakeholders & needs
    • Continuous stakeholder engagement
    • Explain the changes, the new ways of working new competences
    • use of technology
    • changes in procurement models
    • increase need for programme and project management
    • more training
    • It is a whole organisational culture change
  • 20.
    • ICT possibilities
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 21. 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 22. 3. Collaboration with Kenya
    • The methodology and templates for e-health policies and strategies were pretested by the Kenyan Ministry of Medical Services.
    • A strategic planning workshop was held in Kenya, taking forward two key issues that arose from the Ministerial Dialogue.
      • How to frame and develop an e-health policy and strategy for Kenya
      • Scoping and delivering an e-health readiness review in Kenya.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 23. Collaboration with ICT suppliers
    • Cisco Systems is supporting the Commonwealth Secretariat with the Ministerial High-Level Dialogues.
    •   The Health Section is also in discussion with Microsoft to identify collaborative work and funding support for the Secretariat eHealth programme.
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 24. The next steps
    • Strengthen partnerships, working together with Ministries of Health & ICT, International Organisations, AU, Regional Health Organisations, private sector and civil society.
    • Initiate the cycle of work taking place in the ECSA region in West African and other regions of the Commonwealth:
      • Ministerial High Level Dialogues
      • Support continental, regional and country e-health policy and strategy development processes
      • Support country level stakeholder consultations using the Commonwealth e-health methodology and templates
    11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat
  • 25. Thank you 11/06/09 Commonwealth Secretariat The Commonwealth 53 nations one community