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n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Telemedicine : a South African legal perspective

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Abstract

The provision of healthcare services has changed rapidly and extensively over the past century, from what we now believe to be the cruel and inhumane treatments of the past, to the brilliant advances in technology currently available and the promise by medical scientists of even greater developments in the near future. However, despite this growing range of new and improved treatments, medicines and techniques, the provision of healthcare services is still hindered by problems regarding the high cost of healthcare, access to healthcare services for all and the quality of healthcare that is generally available. In developing countries in particular, one of the greatest challenges of healthcare services is to ensure that quality services are also provided in rural and isolated areas and that these services are accessible to all, including the very poor. This article focuses on telehealth and more specifically telemedicine, a development in the healthcare industry which is incorporated into various levels of service provision and which may address some of the current problem areas in the industry. The article aims to provide the reader with some insight into the development and use of telemedicine services and, more importantly, the legal consequences thereof and the potential influence of telemedicine services on the South African healthcare industry.


Tele-gesondheid word al hoe meer in die gesondheidsdienste gebruik, byvoorbeeld by verskeie en uiteenlopende mediese dienste, behandelings en verbandhoudende mediese bedrywighede. Hierdie tegnologie word ook gebruik om mediese ingrepe oor groot afstande moontlik te maak, deur die gebruik van die internet in mediese optrede en verbandhoudende werksaamhede. In Suid-Afrika word tele-gesondheidsintervensies in 'n beperkte mate gebruik. Dit is duidelik dat die voordele wat hierdie ontwikkeling vir veral ontwikkelende lande soos Suid-Afrika inhou, beduidend is. Die gebruik van telegesondheidsdienste bevorder die algemene toegang tot gesondheidsdienste en die kwaliteit van dienste gelewer. Dit verseker ook meer bekostigbare gesondheidsdienste vir 'n groter groep van die bevolking. Benewens hierdie sosio-ekonomiese voordele het dit duidelik geword dat die tradisionele beginsels van die mediese reg nie altyd die regsvrae wat met die gebruik van tele-gesondheidsintervensies mag ontstaan, kan aanspreek nie. 'n Paar probleemareas wat in hierdie artikel bespreek word, sluit in kwessies rondom die lisensiëring van mediese praktisyns, jurisdiksie, die vergoeding van praktisyns deur mediese versekeraars, die besondere dokter-pasiënt-verhouding en die toepaslike graad van sorgsaamheid wat gewoonlik van mediese praktisyns vereis word. Die bespreking poog om waar moontlik kommentaar te lewer op die wyse waarop hierdie probleemaspekte spesifiek in 'n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks aangespreek kan word. Dit verwys ook waar toepaslik na Amerikaanse, Duitse, Switserse en Nederlandse bronne.

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/content/ju_tsar/2008/1/EJC55157
2008-01-01
2016-12-08
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