#Breaking: Zim Health Ministry IT Technicians Estonia Bound

THE Estonian Government is drafting invitations which will see Information Technology technicians from the Health and Child Care Ministry travel to Estonia on a date to be announced, HealthTimes has learnt. This visit to the European country is for Zimbabwe to learn about the country’s robust e-Health system

By Kudakwashe Pembere

Speaking to this publication from Estonia on Wednesday (today), the country’s foreign ministry’s director of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Mrs Kadi Metsandi said plans are underway to invite the technical team from Zimbabwe to their country.

“Good morning, indeed we are planning to invite them to Estonia, the invitation is being prepared currently, not sent yet,” she said.

This development follows a visit by an Estonian team last month alongside the United Arab Emirates Delegation where they toured Sally Mugabe Central Hospital formerly known as Harare Central Hospital.

“Of the UAE and Estonia team that came, it’s part of the collaboration that started not too long ago. We are very excited about it. We did sit with them to discuss with them areas of collaboration, areas where they can come in and help us.

“One of those areas included what it is they can do to provide ICT technical assistance to work better and so on,” Health Ministry Secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva told this publication.

She added that in the discussion was talk of capacity building.

“So the exchange that you are talking about is really also ensuring that our teams don’t just get the technical expertise that they bring, the commodities that they bring, that there is room for that exchange so that we are actually seeing what they are doing here and vice versa. So that was the spirit of that discussion. And hopefully it will come to fruition,” said Dr Mahomva.

Zimbabwe’s public health institutions will have all patients’ records available in digital form at any health facility after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) partnered Estonia in a project whose pilot phase will be launched within six months.

The delegation, which included information communication technology experts will visit other hospitals to see how the proposed system could connect with systems already in place.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the Estonian experts will compliment the projects done in Mashonaland East province which seek to digitalise health records in hospitals.

He said this particular project involving UAE and Estonia will be piloted at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital formally known as Harare Central Hospital. A needs assessment exercise will commence soon taking six months prior to the digitilization proce

Once complete, the process is expected to result in the digitalisation of patients’ records as soon as they seek admission at the first hospital after which the same records can be accessed by subsequent departments at all hospitals, including the consulting doctor, further investigations (x-rays, scans, wards etc) and ultimately the pharmacy department.

Once the system has been successfully implemented at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, it is expected to be rolled out to other health institutions.

Patients will no longer have to narrate their medical history to the attending practitioner.

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