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We’ve completed networking of all hospitals, says Bawumia

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Ghana is currently pursuing the networking of all hospitals and has begun the digitisation of patient records across the country, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said.

This development is set to revolutionise the healthcare system, enhancing efficiency, accessibility, and patient care across the country, Dr Bawumia said.

Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who is also the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, announced this during his tour of the Upper West Region, where he took the opportunity to inform residents about his achievements as vice-president and his plans for Ghana if he becomes president.

Dr Bawumia highlighted the achievements in digital healthcare infrastructure. “We’ve started and we’ve completed, the networking of all hospitals,” he declared.

The digitalisation of patient records addresses longstanding challenges in the healthcare system, such as cumbersome and unreliable paper-based record-keeping.

“When you have problems finding your file, it means your medical history is lost,” Dr. Bawumia noted.

This inefficiency often leads to delays in treatment and compromised patient care. By digitising records, patients’ medical histories will be readily accessible, ensuring timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Moreover, the networking of hospitals ensures seamless coordination and continuity of care across different healthcare facilities.

Dr Bawumia explained, “Today, if they refer you from one regional hospital or from Jirapa District Hospital to Korle Bu, you no longer need your file. You just need your ID number. Once you get to Korle Bu, they will put your ID number in, and all your medical records will come up.”

This system eliminates the need for patients to physically transfer their medical documents, reducing wait times and improving the overall patient experience.

The initiative includes the networking of all teaching hospitals, regional hospitals, and district hospitals, with plans to extend to every hospital and community health center by next year.

“The whole of Ghana will be in one network,” Dr. Bawumia affirmed, highlighting the nationwide impact of this project.

This comprehensive digital healthcare network not only streamlines administrative processes but also enhances the quality of medical care.

Doctors and healthcare providers can access a patient’s complete medical history, enabling more informed decision-making and personalised treatment plans.

Additionally, the integration facilitates better resource management and coordination among healthcare facilities, optimising the use of medical supplies and equipment.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia further highlighted the pivotal role of the Ghana Card as a foundational document, emphasising its transformative impact on various aspects of Ghanaian life.

He emphasised, “So the Ghana Card becomes very pivotal as a foundational document. It is giving all of us a unique identity and allowing us so that today, if you are a student and you need a student loan, you don’t need to have a guarantor if you have a Ghana card because we know where to find you if we need that.”

Addressing a critical issue hindering Ghana’s development, Dr Bawumia also addressed the longstanding lack of a formal address system in the country.

Reflecting on the challenges posed by the absence of such a system, he remarked, “Another problem that I had to tackle in Ghana, which was key to our development, was the lack of an address system. We didn’t have an address system. The mango tree, the blue house, and the cocozella, turn right. If he doesn’t appear, you are in trouble.”

Recognising the need for a modern solution, Dr Bawumia championed the implementation of a digital address system leveraging satellite and GPS technology.

“So we looked at it and said, Well, this is really the digital age. We have satellites, GPS, that is working. Let us leverage on that and let’s go for a digital address system in Ghana. It means every house or office or location can have a digital address.”

Dr. Bawumia proudly declared, “We implemented a digital address system in the world, and we are only the second country in the whole world to implement a digital address system. There is no place in Ghana today that doesn’t have a digital address.”

The establishment of a comprehensive digital address system promises to revolutionise logistics, commerce, and government services throughout Ghana.

The vice-president emphasised the far-reaching implications of this development, stating, “You can drive anywhere, you can deliver any good anywhere and all of that. So, it is a major thing for us. We take it for granted, but it really needs to be there.”

Dr. Bawumia added that he also championed the implementation of a policy called mobile money interoperability, which enables seamless transactions between mobile money accounts, regardless of the telecom provider, and bank accounts.

According to Dr. Bawumia, Ghana has emerged as the first country in Africa to achieve mobile money interoperability between mobile wallets and bank accounts to improve accessibility to financial services.

Addressing the longstanding challenge of limited financial access, Dr. Bawumia emphasised, “This was one of the biggest problems because so many people did not have a bank account or access to financial services.”

Dr. Bawumia highlighted the significance of this achievement, noting, “And now Ghana is the number one country in Africa as far as access to financial inclusion is concerned.”

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