‘E-health card’ for all citizens in 2018


Dr A.L. Jagoda explains the functions of the Accident Service to Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne during yesterday’s ceremony to mark the digitalisation of the NHSL Accident Service. DDGHS (NHSL), Dr Anil Jasinghe and Deputy Director, Dr S. Samarakoon were also present. (Pic by Sujatha Jayaratne)

 By Dilanthi Jayamanne

 Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said he hoped to introduce ‘e-health card,’ system for all citizens in 2018. 

Addressing the gathering at the ceremony held to introduce the Electronic Emergency Department Information System (eEdis -Digitalising Trauma Care Service) of the National Hospital, Dr Senaratne said that with an e-health card people would be able to keep close tabs on their health. Such a card will enable a doctor in any part of the country to retrieve all details regarding a patient’s health. He said the system was already functioning  in most countries of the world.

Senaratne said he hoped to launch the ‘Family Physician,’ concept where there would be one physician for every 5,000 members of the public. "The Health Ministry has already been able to set up over 40 health care centres affiliated to MOH offices which screen people for their Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar etc. The public health care would be further enhanced through the family physician scheme, the Minister said.

 Dr Senaratne said drug shortages in government hospitals had been widespread when he assumed duties as Health Minister. However, now, hospital administrators were able to do online checking on their drugs stores. In case of a shortage they were also able to go on line to ascertain which government hospital had the required drug and request for it from the particular hospital. Thereby, the Ministry had been able to save Rs. 350 million on drugs which earlier passed their shelf life and been withdrawn by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) to be destroyed, he said,

 Deputy Director General of Health Services (National Hospital -DDGHS-NHSL), Dr Anil Jasinghe outlining the benefits of digitalising the accident service said that it would increase the efficiency of the public health sector. An X-ray which takes over 50 minutes would be brought down to a maximum of three minutes, he said.

 Dr Jasinghe said the eEdis would also enhance patient safety, enhance a hospital’s ability to maintain records and was also environment friendly. 

The expenditure of Rs 152 million on X tray- film for a period of five years had been cut down to ten million which had been spent only on two panels. The payback period for that amount would be approximately three months, he said.

 The EDIS positioned at the Accident Service of the NHSL is a Sri Lankan developed open source Electronic Medical Records and Medical Practice Information Management Software application designed for use in an emergency care set up, the Annual Trauma Bulletin said. The NHSL is one of the largest hospitals in South Asia. Its Accident service daily treats over 300 trauma patients. 


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