Telemedicine has been introduced
into health institutions throughout the Provinces of South
Africa. Ophthalmology and
Ultrasound were selected for KwaZulu-Natal.
The attachedmap shows the selected sites in relation to each other. The National Department of Health is supporting the installation of telemedicine in KwaZulu-Natal, by covering the cost of the installation of the ISDN lines and the calls made for the first year of operation.
The South African
Telemedicine aims to reduce the number of patient referrals from smaller hospitals and community health centers (send sites) to the larger hospitals (receive sites), by giving the medical staff the necessary support they need. This will also be of a great benefit to patients who will not need to travel great distances, but will be able to obtain the necessary treatment in their own hospital. King Edward VIII and Edendale hospital have been selected in KwaZulu-Natal as receive sites. Dialogue and images are sent via ISDN lines from send sites to the receive site where a diagnosis can be done. Send sites can also communicate with each other.An examination can done in real time, that is whilst the patient is being examined the doctor at the send site can converse with the doctor at the receive site who is also able to see images of the patient.This is ideal for emergency situations.Where the situation is not as serious the images can be saved and sent by email and examined at a later stage. Institutions have been supplied with the necessary equipment needed, which includes: a PC with large monitor, a large screen TV and a camera.