The HPCSA’s telemedicine guidance during COVID-19: A review

B A Townsend, M Mars, R E Scott


The confluence of COVID-19 and raised interest in the application of 'e-health' (electronic- health) or ‘d-health’ (digital health) innovations has occurred throughout the world. Leadership in many countries has risen to the crisis by rapidly developing, refining, or retooling e-health solutions as well as existing legislation and guidelines to permit their swift implementation. Anticipation globally is that these events will stimulate sustained change in the interest in and use of e-health (e.g., telehealth, telemedicine, m-health, e-learning, and health informatics). In South Africa the existing stance of the Health Professions Council of South Africa hampered this response, initially even in the face of the pandemic. This paper briefly reviews recent events in South Africa, relevant World Medical Association statements, and international COVID-19 related response. It concludes the HPCSA must acknowledge global experience, and provide South Africa with clear, evidence-based, and clinically practicable guidelines that promote and sustain use of telemedicine broadly, now and post-COVID-19.

Authors' affiliations

B A Townsend, University of KwaZulu-Natal

M Mars, University of KwaZulu–Natal, Durban, South Africa

R E Scott, University of KwaZulu–Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2020;13(2):97. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2020.v13i2.00725

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-12-15
Date published: 2020-12-15

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