MINISTER for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye has said lack of harmonisation of multiple hospital systems has contributed a lot to high medical cost incurred by citizens.
The minister also said that there is a need for investing in infrastructure, laws and human resources in order to step ahead in improving Information and Communication Technology in health sector.
Nape made the remarks in Dar es Salaam on Saturday while opening the third conference on digital health and innovation organised by Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).
He said that there is a need of investing heavily in ICT in order to harmonise health systems in efforts to reduce the medical costs to patients and the government in general.
The minister said the government is undertaking various efforts to harmonise systems in the health sector, including communication integration through the national fibre optic, noting that only several districts have remained to be connected to the system.
He said the connection will improve ICT.
“There are systems which must be formed to make unique information, facilitate a patient to move from one place to another and that is why President Samia Suluhu Hassan saw the importance of having a special number for every Tanzanian,” Nape said, adding that the number will help when a person is treated because it will show the entire treatment processes of the respective patient.
Nape further said that the health sector is one of the areas which have multiple systems which are not linked together thus there is a need for improving the ICT in order to harmonise the systems.
He added that the conference will help to transform and improve digital health services in order to benefit majority of Tanzanians and reduce medical costs and time.
For his part, MUHAS Vice Chancelor, Professor Erastus Mbugi said the conference targeted various groups and involved experts with the aim of facilitating digital health services.
He said that the participants suggested that ICT experts should integrate their technologies with the aim of harmonising them, a move that will provide precise information.
Prof Mbugi said currently the systems have not been harmonised, noting that they want all the systems both in private and public sector to be integrated.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been stressing on the need for harmonising government systems.