Planning National Telemedicine and Health Hotline Services

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World Bank
For many low- and middle-income countries, telemedicine and health hotlines are the best way to increase community access to health information and health care. This became even more apparent during the coronavirus pandemic, when countries with low health-care-worker-to-population ratios--and large populations that do not live close to a health center--needed better ways for their citizens to access health information and care. These services have played an important role in filling access gaps for decades, but to ensure they sustain impact at a national scale, the government must be brought in from the beginning with a longer-term plan for the government to steward the solution. For a solution to be sustainable, it must be incorporated into country strategies and budgets, and the government must have ownership of the solution, even if all or parts of the operation are outsourced. This toolkit focuses on health hotlines and telemedicine, specifically on the telemedicine systems used for primary care services, rather than those for specialized care such as tele-dermatology, tele-oncology, and others. This toolkit will outline the multi-phased approach needed to set up a health hotline or telemedicine service at a national scale while providing tools that can be used to, for example, cost out and design the system, contract service providers, or engage mobile network operators.
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World Bank. 2023. Planning National Telemedicine and Health Hotline Services: A Toolkit for Governments. International Development in Practice;. © Washington, DC : World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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