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The Use of ICT in the Health Sector in Pacific Island Countries

  • Rowena CullenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 27)

Abstract

The health of their people and the delivery of better health services are core development goals for all Pacific Island countries (PICs). Information and Communication Technology has a critical role to play in this sector, and e-health is a recognized part of e-government. But in PICs this role is largely limited to the collection and management of health data; where ICT plays a major role in improving health outcomes in industrialized countries, for example, clinical decision support for clinicians, and telemedicine, the use of ICTs in PICs is more sparsely adopted. Examples of applications tend be local, ad hoc projects, although valuable in the limited contribution they make. This chapter outlines the burden of disease and other challenges, such as lack of funding, that PICs face in delivering health services. It explains how ICTs are used in the collection and analysis of health data, the contribution made by regional organizations and the high level of regional collaboration this entails. In the second half of the chapter some ICT projects to support clinicians and other health workers (e-learning, e-resources and telemedicine) and the use ICTs in the delivery of health services, are outlined. In the final section, the use of mobile technology in both health care and public health initiatives is discussed. The chapter concludes that the health sector in Pacific SIDs is so resource-sensitive that any technological ‘intervention’ must clearly add considerable value to justify the allocation of resources that would otherwise be spent on staff, medicines, equipment and facilities.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GovernmentVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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