During a media discussion on Saturday, Faqih said he believed that in the next three to five years, telemedicine would become a common medium for doctors and health workers to provide better and far-reaching health services.
However, this will not mean the extinction of conventional practices, he added. He called for the formation of a good health service ecosystem to provide the best service to people, including in Indonesia's eastern regions.
"We have a vast territory. Health access services should be expanded as wide as possible because there are still certain areas that have limited physical service facilities, especially in the east region," Faqih explained.
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"This challenge to expand access to telemedicine has become important," he said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has helped health workers to provide guidance to the people and because of this, health services have remained functional, he added.
For instance, telemedicine can help people undergoing isolation by guiding them to take the correct medicine, telling them what activities they should do, and advising them to undergo a follow-up examination if there is any symptom, Faqih elaborated.
"If they are not guided, (self-isolation) would not work well. We worry that there will be death cases without proper treatment," the chairman said.
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"They (patients) may well be in critical condition but do not know when to go to the hospital," he elaborated.
Concurring with Faqih, CBO & co-founder of Halodoc, Doddy Lukito, said that technology has provided doctors the means to help patients across Indonesia, even Indonesians living abroad, as long as they have Internet access.
Meanwhile, for patients, technology has allowed them to easily consult doctors and health workers for 24 hours, he said. This access can especially help those who live in an area with subpar physical health facilities, he added.
"They only need to use smartphones and the Internet and they can receive health services through technology," Lukito said.
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