The practice of telemedicine and challenges to the regulatory authorities
The practice of telemedicine is viewed as a possible solution to the human resources crisis in health care in South Africa and internationally. Reports on its successful implementation and combating of health-related problems are readily available from both developed and developing countries. Even though these reports indicate that telemedicine seems to have addressed the problem related to the shortage of health care personnel, it is still posing a challenge to regulatory authorities such as the Health Professions Council of South Africa. The regulatory authorities are there to ensure that quality health care service is delivered and that the patient will be protected from possible mismanagement by the health care practitioners involved. Misconduct can occur through improper clinical care or excessive billing.
Policies and guidelines from both developing and developed countries were reviewed to highlight how telemedicine is regulated elsewhere. The focus was on the ethical implications of telemedicine practice. Telemedicine has proved itself to be a possible solution to the human resources crisis, especially in developing countries or where there are vast rural communities. Success of telemedicine has been reported in a number of developed and developing countries as a way of alleviating the human resources crisis and providing quality health care to needy communities.
Mable Kekana, University Of Pretoria, Department of Radiographic Sciences
Cite this article
South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2010;3(1):33.
Date submitted: 2010-02-11
Date published: 2010-06-29
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