BIMA (Milvik Ghana Ltd), a Swedish microinsurance company, has been awarded the very first Telemedicine License in Ghana.

The award was given by the Health Facility Regulatory Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

In Ghana it is common for patients to travel considerable distances or sacrifice hours waiting in a clinic before seeing a doctor.

This, along with the high cost of consultations, often prevent people from seeking medical help.

BIMA Doctor is a tele-doctor service that started operations in 2015 and has since registered around 100,000 customers.

Using disruptive mobile technology, it digitises the user experience to deliver convenient, affordable and quality health services across the country.

With as little as GHȼ 3 per month, individuals can subscribe to BIMA Doctor and enjoy unlimited calls to a doctor for medical advice over the phone.

•The subscription covers an individual, their spouse and any children under 18 years

•Doctors can be called at anytime for any medical queries

•Get immediate medical advice for quick treatment from a qualified medical practitioner

•Saves time as there is no waiting in a hospital queue

•Saves money on transportation and consultation fees

•Receive weekly health tips
Fever, sore throat, skin problems and diarrhoea are among the most common customer ailments.

In most cases, the issue is resolved during the consultation.

If the situation requires further investigation, or if there are signs/symptoms of severity, the patient is then referred to a hospital.

Christina Tuemmers, Ghana Health Division Manager said, “Receiving this licence is a confirmation of the high clinical standards and customer service that underpin the delivery of the BIMA Doctor service, it is the consecration of two years of development.”

Dr. David Sunu, Chief Medical Officer of BIMA Doctor added that, “BIMA Doctor has a team of medical practitioners who are licensed by the Medical and Dental Council to practise medicine in Ghana.

“The team receives periodic training on telemedicine protocols to ensure the highest standards of medical quality.

“While delivering an affordable service, we also have a series of rigorous quality assurance measures in place to deliver a world-class medical service.”

According to the OECD, there is at most 1 qualified physician per 1,000 people in Ghana.

And as such, the combination of soaring population and rising urbanisation is driving higher demand for health care services, particularly as non-communicable disease such as diabetes and hypertension continue to rise.

Damien Gueroult, BIMA Ghana Country Manager, reveals “We are proud of this milestone recognizing the quality of our service, but we really believe we’re just at the start of this journey.

“We continue to enhance our telemedicine service and foresee increasing synergies with our insurance offering to provide a comprehensive health coverage to every Ghanaian”.

In the past couple of months BIMA Doctor has added new features to enhance service delivery and customer satisfaction.

For example, BIMA has launched a health coaching program delivering targeted health content via SMS and IVR, and now also provides e-prescriptions via SMS as well as access to Specialists (Dietician and Gynaecologist) though its call centre.

A BIMA Doctor App will also be launched in July 2018 to offer additional value-added services to customers.

By: Clara Doku