NUMS to provide healthcare services to people of twin cities at their doorsteps

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ISLAMABAD: National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) will provide efficient, accessible and affordable home healthcare services for the people of twin cities at their doorsteps.

The pilot project is expected to begin this year, initially in selected areas and in later phase scaled up to cover majority areas of the twin cities.

Through the project, the communities will have access to tele-medicine to consult doctors on dedicated phone lines and through a video-link facility.

NUMS Healthcare will also provide home visits of doctors, home delivery of medicines and collection of laboratory samples. With the spirit of “NUMS for the Nation”, all services and tests of clients will be provided at lower rates than the market, Director of Primary Health Care NUMS Brig Shazia Sarwar Alvi (Retd) said on Sunday.

Many specialists will also be on- call for consultation services to the patients requiring specialist attention.

She said E-App (mobile Apps) will be available to patients for online appointments, notification of abnormal reports, health education and promotion.

NUMS has taken the decision after a year of planning as its Healthcare team conducted surveys in different parts of  the twin cities to assess the health needs of the people, especially in the backdrop of current COVID-19 pandemic, she said in a message received here.

According to the NUMS survey report, in the wake of the pandemic, patients faced difficulties in palliative care and management of chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. The supply of essential medicine was also disrupted.

At least 97 percent of people responded that the community was in need of such healthcare services particularly the elderly and single mothers or those not able to physically go to the doctor.

An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) of interaction between the doctor and patient will be kept under this service. “I believe that in this digital age, access to good healthcare shouldn’t depend on where you live”, Shazia Alvi said.

The health needs of about 7.4 million souls of the twin cities metropolitan region are being currently catered through  public-private  health facilities which remained under-utilized due to poor referral linkages and quality of service,  putting tremendous pressure on the tertiary level public  health care system, the Director said.

The NUMS-Health Care network comprises of primary, secondary and tertiary level care. Given that the primary health care system is not robust and is almost non-existent in urban areas, the majority of people who try to access secondary health care put an extra burden on health services.

If an affordable and accessible healthcare service is available at the primary tier of the current health care system, most of their ailments can be swiftly resolved which will also help reduce the burden on the second tier, she added. Under the NUMS certified Home Healthcare Assistant programme, the university will also train its own teams of skilled health workers to provide quality service to the people.