Digital technology majorly helps doctors amid pandemic: IDI

Digital technology majorly helps doctors amid pandemic: IDI

Head of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) Daeng M. Faqih. (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) Daeng M. Faqih affirmed that digital technology played a crucial role in helping doctors serve patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Since the start of the pandemic, the IDI has continued to urge doctors to reduce face-to-face services. However, services for patients must continue to run by using complete personal protective equipment," Faqih noted at the National Doctor's Day Special HaloTalks event monitored through the Zoom application here, Friday.

The IDI head remarked that the number of doctors available in Indonesia currently reached 196 thousand. Of the total doctors spread across the country, 40 thousand are specialists, four thousand are internal medicine doctors, and two thousand are pulmonary specialists.

According to Faqih, the limited number of doctors is further complicated by the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has protracted for almost two years.

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"The lack of specialist physicians (for COVID-19 patients) has posed an obstacle in handling COVID-19. Finally, it was agreed that other specialists might treat COVID-19 (patients) as long as they have been trained," Faqih noted.

Hence, he assessed that digital technology had successfully provided broader access for patients and helped ensure safety for doctors in the midst of the pandemic.

"The developments and benefits of telemedicine are extraordinary, right from helping expedite vaccinations to providing self-isolation services," the IDI head noted.

Without the help of technology, it would be impossible to do such things, especially with the large number of COVID-19 patients and the limited number of health workers and health facilities available, he noted.

"Indonesia has a very wide area. Hence, access to health must be opened as wide as possible, and telemedicine is the answer," he remarked.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020. According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as of October 22, 2021, at least 4,238,594 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, while 4,080,351 people recovered, and 143,153 people succumbed to the deadly virus. 

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