International Medical Group (IMG), the parent company of International Hospital Kampala (IHK) and International Medical Center (IMC) together with MTN Uganda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a digital approach to medical access across the country.
Speaking at the launch held at the International Diagnostics Center (IDC), the IMG chief executive officer, Sukhmeet Sandhu said “as International Medical Group, our mission is to improve standards of healthcare in Uganda through innovation, applied research, education and community-based services. As a result of the fast rise of the digital era, impact of COVID-19 and strategic partnerships like the one we have launched today with MTN, we are now able to realize this dream and we invite more corporate companies and the government to partner with us to improve the health and related services of the population.”
IMC general manager Joel Oroni IMC noted that COVID-19 has led to a digital evolution in service delivery.
“COVID-19 taught us a number of things including, the need to go paperless and cashless. As a result, IMC recently rolled out a prepayment model using the health cards and IHK is now using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to create a seamless customer experience. We are also investing more in mobile and digital platforms to reach our customers and spread awareness about our available services. Telehealth is convenient, safe and fast. I call upon you all to take advantage of this and all our available innovations to save you time and money,” Oroni said.
Addressing the press at the same event, MTN Uganda chief marketing officer Sen Somdev re-echoed the need for partnerships and government support in the health sector.
“Partnerships in this day and era are the only way we can expedite growth and development as individuals, businesses and a country. Through partnerships such as the telemedicine partnership we have established with IMG, convenient, affordable and standard medical services will be available to all people from all walks of life, everywhere. We call upon government to support such innovations for the benefit of all citizens. A healthy population will definitely contribute to stimulation of economic growth.”
How the IMG-MTN telemedicine service works
According to Andrew Mugalu, the head of IT at IMG and the telemedicine project lead, patients will be scheduled on payment of a consultation fee of Shs 15,000 through the MTN mobile money gateway. The patient will choose the mode of consultation- either audio or video depending on the client’s phone capability and connectivity.
All video consultations will be on appointment after the doctor has established the need to have a visual consultation with the patient.
Where necessary, a sample will be physically collected by qualified IMC or IHK medical personnel from the patient’s home or preferred location with strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols after which test results will be shared either via email, audio call or video call by the doctor depending on the patient’s preferred option. Medicines would then be delivered to the patient within 20kms of an IMC facility by a medical assistant.
Mugalu further highlighted that patients will only be able to access consultancy services covering tele-general doctor’s consultation, dermatology consultations, psychiatric consultation, laboratory sample collection and drugs delivery.
IMC is currently present in 18 locations across the country, IHK is open 24 hours while MTN Uganda’s network is available in all parts of the country.