By Fatima Abdulkadir

In a recent session, the House of Representatives advocated for the regulation of telemedicine practitioners in Nigeria, calling upon the Ministry of Health and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to oversee their activities. The motion, proposed by Hon Blessing Chigeru Amadi, underscored the absence of a formal legal structure governing telemedicine in the country, despite its operational presence for over a decade.

Amadi emphasized the potential benefits of telemedicine in bridging the gap caused by the shortage of clinicians in Nigeria. However, she also highlighted the risks posed by the lack of a specific regulatory framework for telemedicine operators, which could potentially endanger Nigerians.

Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to organize a legislative summit involving key stakeholders in the telemedicine sector and policymakers. The aim of the summit is to expedite the development of a legal framework for telemedicine operators in Nigeria.

The committee has been tasked with reporting back within four weeks, after which further legislative action is expected to be taken. The move signals a proactive approach by the House of Representatives to address the regulatory gaps in the telemedicine sector and ensure the safety and effectiveness of telemedicine practices in Nigeria.