Airtel Ghana has partnered with Apollo Hospitals, an internationally acclaimed chain of hospitals based in Chennai, India and their Ghanaian partner, Family Health Hospital to provide telemedicine services to Ghanaians.

Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology – meaning patients and health care providers can be connected around the world digitally and health care can be delivered with the same level of dexterity as would a physical contact treatment.

Family Health Hospital, one of Ghana’s leading health care providers are the local partners for Apollo Hospitals and will make available their facilities and personnel for the practical health care delivery.

Speaking at the launch of the innovative health care services at the premises of Family Health Hospitals in Teshie, Airtel’s Head of Corporate Communications, Richard Ahiagble said “Access to healthcare is critical to productivity at all levels. Every year thousands of Ghanaians travel out of this country to seek health care overseas – resulting in increased cost and reduced productivity. Telemedicine is a direct answer to this. Through this innovative partnership, Family Health and Apollo Hospitals will collaboratively provide quality health care delivery to meet the needs of all patrons in Ghana. The entire process starts with a simple call to Family Health hospital and is available to all Airtel customers as well as customers on other local networks. However, Airtel customers enjoy a whopping discount when accessing this facility”.

He continued “At Airtel, we believe that technology must be fully harnessed to address the challenges that confront us. We have led the way in data and digital innovation to provide relevant solutions that address the lifestyle needs of our customers. We are powering this partnership with our Communication, Connectivity and Collaborative solutions to support the health needs of our customers and Ghanaians across the country. That is the power of the ‘Internet of Things’ and we are excited to be leading the way in this. Through this service patrons can now have access to medical services from world class doctors and consultants in preventive and curative medical care”.

On his part, Professor Yao Kwawukume, President of Family Health Hospital and Medical School said “Family Health Hospital, the Medical School and Nursing School is excited to be associated with this innovation which will enhance our teaching by exposing our students and doctors to what pertains in the frontiers of medical care. Family Health believes strongly in sharing and caring and in any knowledge which will strengthen and protect the family unit, the very structure of society is our focus”.

He added “in education, our medical students, post graduate students and the nursing students would have complete access to this facility all day round and this would enhance the number of lecturers they will have. The telemedicine facility will also facilitate continuous medical education with our counterparts in other parts of the world so that our students would not feel disadvantaged. I am therefore happy to see many professors, lecturers, good friends and family coming to this launch.

Secondly, the telemedicine facility allows patients and healthcare professionals the platform to seek second opinions in the health sector so that in cases of doubtful diagnosis we can discuss our problems with the rest of the world especially with our partner practitioners in the diaspora who have already shown a lot of interest in joining us to teach our medical students”

Dr. Alok Ranjan, Senior Consultant at Apollo Hospitals said, “Apollo hospitals has partnered with hospitals in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mauritius, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait to provide telemedicine services and it is now the largest telemedicine provider in India with 71 centers. And, we are excited to partner with the Smartphone Network and the Family Health Hospital in Accra to bring global standard telemedicine services to residents of Ghana.

Honourable Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, Minister of Education who was the Special Guest of Honour commended the partners for launching the initiative. She said ‘ this initiative will shape the teaching and practice of medicine in Ghana and all the partners must be commended for conceiving and executing this innovation. I want to congratulate Dr. Kwawukume for his vision and how for he’s brought the Family Health hospital. I also want to commend Airtel Ghana for their supporting this laudable initiative and for providing the technology that will power it. I know they have been involved in supporting education and health care facilities including their enormous support that led to the construction of infrastructure for the University of Cape Coast Medical School”.

The launch was chaired by Professor Ernest Aryeetey, immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana who praised the partners for ‘expanding the frontiers of medical care and education’.

This partnership follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Airtel Africa signed with Apollo to expand the frontiers of medical services through the provision of telemedicine services on the continent.

Family Health Hospital is one of Ghana’s leading health care provider in preventive and curative services.

Apollo Hospitals is an internationally acclaimed health care provider based in India.

Airtel is Ghana’s best Data and Internet Services Provider and the telecom industry leader in data and digital innovation.