The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has raised interest in the application of e-health or d-health (digital health) innovations throughout the world. Many countries have rapidly developed, refined or retooled e-health solutions and existing legislation and guidelines to permit their swift implementation. It is anticipated that these events will stimulate sustained change in the interest in and use of e-health (e.g. telehealth, telemedicine, m-health (mobile health), e-learning and health informatics). The stance of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has hampered this response, initially even in the face of the pandemic. This article reviews recent events in SA, relevant World Medical Association statements and international COVID-19-related responses. It concludes that the HPCSA must acknowledge global experience, and provide SA with clear, evidence-based and clinically practicable guidelines that promote and sustain the use of telemedicine broadly, now and post COVID-19.
B A Townsend, School of Law, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
M Mars, Department of TeleHealth, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
R E Scott, Department of TeleHealth, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cite this article
South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2020;13(2):.
Date submitted: 2020-10-19
Date published: 2020-10-19
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