Kenyans can have a virtual consultation with and get fully treated by a doctor anytime, anywhere following the launch of the country’s first comprehensive telehealth platform, ConnectMed.
A total of 50 doctors licenced by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDU) have already signed onto the platform.
“Our doctors are passionate about harnessing technology to increase access to healthcare. They’ve all gone through an extensive training process and received their degrees from top Kenyan medical schools,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fibian Nyorita said.
ConnectMed doctors will be available for a 15-minute virtual consultation with patients everyday of the week between 8am and 11pm.
According to Melissa McCoy, CEO, ConnectMed, the doctors can also provide a prescription, sick note or referral letter.
“ConnectMed patients can also get discounts on medications and follow-on services from our service partners,” McCoy added.
The virtual doctor service aims to deliver scalable healthcare in the country where it is both scarce because of few doctors; and inaccessible due to cost, location and limited available hours.
The KMPDU says the current doctor to patient ratio in Kenya is one to 5, 033, nearly nine times more than the World Health Organization recommended ratio of one doctor to 600 patients.
ConnectMed can offer services at a lower cost as it allows doctors to see patients in their spare time.
It plans to establish physical hubs in pharmacies, cyber cafes and the like to allow patients without access to technology access the service on available computers.
It will be interesting to see how the entry of ConnectMed will impact the sector as Kenya’s doctors remain at odds with the government after returning to work following a 100-day strike over unfulfilled pledges of salary increment.
This was made worse after the government revealed plans to recruit foreign doctors, the first batch from Tanzania expected to arrive in April 2017 and plans to recruit specialist from Cuba in due cour