The pandemic has been horrific for everyone, but it has also provided various new perspectives for many fields of life. It has reminded us how dependent we were on physical contact and old age traditions to carry out multiple practices. In Pakistan, one of these fields that had stood stagnant for years was medicine. The progress in the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients had been scarce. The onset of the Coronavirus highlighted how damaging this lack of communication was. The virus spread to remote areas and infected individuals in the thousands; however, it was weak to provide diagnoses and treatment.
Since Pakistan is home to many tourism hotspots, the need for innovative methods was intensely felt. emeds, seeing this urgent need, quickly developed telemedicine techniques to extend access to the general population.
What is e-medicine?
The term e-medicine can be used interchangeably with telemedicine. In a nutshell, it refers to using digital or electronic means to provide medical assistance. The digitisation of healthcare has been a positive step in integrating advanced practices into the health care system. For example, doctors can hop on a video call and talk to the patient to gauge the problem and inform them of the treatment. E-medicine has opened doors that previously were not even known to exist.
Tourism and healthcare- a disastrous affair in Pakistan:
While Pakistan boasts many breathtaking locations, the state of social affairs is not so credible right now. Every year tourists are drawn to the northern areas of the country like Gilgit Baltistan or the Hunza Valley etc., But, once there, tourists experience a plethora of issues. Some of these include a lack of proper housing and waste disposal, but the lack of medical resources has recently gained more attention.
Most of the mountainous areas within Pakistan lack proper hospitals, adequate staff, and necessary medical supplies. As a result, many locals have set up shops to provide traditional medicine or organic substances. However, this is not the answer. With time, diseases morph and become more robust and more complex. Thus, they require more rigorous attention and just as complex treatment, something those areas lack.
When tourists venture into these areas and fall sick, they have to turn to the degraded medical facilities around them. Thus, they often feel even worse or are not completely satisfied with how they are dealt with. This promotes a negative image of the country and also harms the citizens and tourists alike.
How e-medicine can benefit tourists in Pakistan:
In keeping up with the pandemic, we have taken many steps in the right direction. One of these has been in the form of e-medicine. Telemedicine or e-medicine can add unsurmountable levels of ease for tourism in Pakistan. Currently, some of the ways individuals can get acquainted with telehealth are through apps, which allow users to set up appointments with doctors online and have a consultation session via video call or by visiting them.
Connection with qualified professionals:
When equipped with healthcare apps, tourists no longer rely on local individuals who may not be qualified for the job. In a matter of seconds, they can schedule an appointment with a doctor or a healthcare expert of their choice. These platforms offer many specialists in different fields of medicine. Regularly, it is hard to find a good doctor around you when you are in a foreign location. However, a simple search will help tourists connect with qualified professionals in the vicinity through telehealth platforms. This saves them from the stress of not finding the right doctor and helps overcome difficulties due to the language barrier since these apps can be operated in many languages.
Timely and safe communication:
With diseases like the Coronavirus spreading rapidly, many would prefer not to visit a hospital in fear of contracting the illness. Unfortunately, pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes do tend to be the hotspots for diseases. But, with telehealth platforms, tourists cannot only avail consultations digitally, but they can also order their medicines online. The whole process remains contact-free. Payments can be made online, and the supplies will be delivered to your location within a set amount of time. This cuts down on waiting in long queues and the hazard of being surrounded by other patients. It is a time-saving route and also puts your mind at ease in terms of safety.
When you’re away from home and visiting a foreign site, the last thing you would want is to get sick and spend all your money on treatment. Usually, the actual medicines do not cost as much as the fees you submit to the hospital and the money you spend travelling to and from the hospital. But, with e-medicine, most of these extra charges can be avoided. For example, video consultations usually cost half the amount of a physical consultation, and instead of travelling to the hospital, you can have your medicines delivered. This helps you cut down on time and travel charges. Thus, medicine is a cost-efficient route.
The fate of tourism in Pakistan will suffer significantly if it does not become well equipped with advanced health care practices. Tourism is becoming an essential industry for Pakistan, but the pandemic has had detrimental effects on it. With e-medicine, these negative impacts can be countered to make tourism a healthy recreational activity for many visiting Pakistan.