Aunt Maria is a 72-year-old woman who lives in a small village in Moldova, 45 kilometres from the nearest health centre. She suffers from a chronic disease and requires regular check-ups and consultations, which take time and costs a lot of money spent on travelling. Our telemedicine initiative could save Aunt Maria both time and money and help her access the quality health care she needs.
Telemedicine comes to the aid of an ageing population
Aunt Maria lives in the village of Palanca, where there is no doctor. Every time Aunt Maria needs a simple medical check-up, she has to go on a long journey alone. Thanks to the telemedicine services, that Caritas Czech Republic is introducing in Moldova, she can get the adequate care without the need to travel.
Aunt Maria is not the only one who could benefit from the telemedicine services in Moldova. Due to the economic situation of the country, young people are leaving Moldova for a more appealing financial situation and attractive job offers abroad. This is affecting the labor force in Moldova, as the number of health and social personnel is decreasing. At the same time, the population is growing older and is also suffering from the lack of sufficient care provision.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further challenged an already fragile health system in Moldova. Telemedicine, providing healthcare remotely thanks to technological means, appeared as the solution to provide suitable care to Moldova's ageing population and to help both people and the state to save time and money.
Together with the Homecare Association, we launched a pilot project to introduce telemedicine services in 8 health and social care centres across the country. We will equip the centres with the necessary technology and train 24 health and social assistants to provide telemedicine to Moldovan citizens. Thanks to our support, the centres will be able to provide about 4 000 remote consultations to people like Aunt Maria.
Better healthcare even in remote areas
The remote consultations have a lot to offer. The patient no longer has to worry about leaving home and finding their way to the medical centre, or spending hours on the road or in the waiting room for a consultation. Thanks to remote consultations, the patient also reduces their chances to contract Covid-19 or other diseases. The telemedicine services moreover offer the opportunity to reach out to more distant doctors who might have better or more suitable skills to take care of their disease. And importantly, telemedicine also allows the patient to save a certain amount of money.
We believe that telemedicine is a great way to overcome geographical barriers and, thanks to the technological equipment, offer good quality care to everyone.
Our initiative aims to become even more important as we are planning to regulate and develop working standards in telemedicine to reach a national level and support the country’s healthcare system. We want to help people in the same situation as Aunt Maria to have the opportunity to reach a decent medical consultation in optimal conditions, and to save time and money for commuting to the doctor.
Caritas Czech Republic leads this initiative in close collaboration with the Homecare Association and with the financial support of the Czech Development Agency for the total amount of 345,000.00 EUR.