Reimplementing Telemedicine in the Eastern Cape

Liezel Cilliers
Muma Case Review  •  Volume 3  •  2018  •  pp. 001-012
Mr Benton Alexander, Director of eHealth in the Eastern Cape Department of Health, reflected on his 20th year in the position. During his tenure, various telemedicine projects had been implemented in the Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDoH). He had been asked by the ECDoH to investigate the reasons behind the past failure of telemedicine in the province. He felt that most of the factors he had identified were within his power to correct, but there was one concern that worried him. There remained uncertainty among doctors as to who was ultimately responsible for the care of the patient: Is it the referring doctor that must administer the treatment to the patient, or the specialist prescribing a course of treatment without ever having physically examined the patient? How could the privacy of the patient be protected during telemedicine consultations? What legal framework needed to be applied to determine negligence of care?
South Africa, telemedicine, healthcare, regulations, Eastern Cape
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