ECONOMYNEXT – International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Sri Lankan conglomerate Hemas Holdings have joined forces to offer affordable and quality healthcare through digital technology, backed by local management consultancy LEK Consulting, the IFC said in a statement.
“Sri Lanka will be the first country to benefit from a global IFC initiative aimed at improving access to affordable and quality healthcare,” the IFC said in a statement.
The initiative is called the Global Digital Health Platform (DigiHealth), which will launch in Sri Lanka, and aims to create a platform to work with healthcare organizations to design, implement and fund digital transformation strategies.
DigiHealth aims to offer a range of digital health solutions including medical care, health education, health information services via telemedicine, specialty healthcare via telemedicine, and the means for healthcare providers to transform their processes through automation, digitization and advanced analytics.
“Easy access to quality health services is becoming increasingly important in a post-COVID world, especially for vulnerable communities,” said Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson, Group CEO of Hemas.
“We hope that with the support of the IFC, we can ensure that DigiHealth will play a vital role in ensuring that all Sri Lankans have access to quality healthcare.”
A Grand View study conducted had expected digital health systems to reach $95 billion worldwide in 2018 and $509 billion by 2025.
However, with the pandemic at play, the expectation of long-term growth for the digital healthcare industry has been channeled with opportunities to bring about change for the industry as a whole.
“The DigiHealth platform is IFC’s response to the increasing demand for digital health services aiming to be delivered at higher quality and lower cost, which is needed in a country like Sri Lanka where existing private sector players only have limited reach,” said Rana Karadsheh, Regional Industry Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services at IFC Asia Pacific.
Sri Lanka is increasingly facing a shortage of doctors as more senior consultants and doctors leave the country amid the economic crisis, while the government’s policy of lowering the retirement age has also reduced the number of doctors. (Colombo/09/24/2022)