The Importance of Information and Communication Technologies in Establishing Healthcare Services with a Universal Coverage

The Importance of Information and Communication Technologies in Establishing Healthcare Services with a Universal Coverage

Davuthan Günaydin (Namık Kemal University, Turkey), Hakan Cavlak (Namık Kemal University, Turkey), GamzeYıldız Şeren (Namık Kemal University, Turkey) and Korhan Arun (Namık Kemal University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6635-1.ch026
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One of the most important challenges faced by the healthcare system is the organization of healthcare services to cope with the increase in population and aging of citizens. Especially in developing countries, demographic movements of the population, regional disparities, political concerns, and increasing expectations of health services have led to a search for new ways to serve all of the population with healthcare services. With traditional methods, it is not possible to increase the supply of health services because of inadequate infrastructure and shortcomings in quantity and quality of healthcare staff. This new health system called e-health and uses all of the possibilities provided by information and communication technologies that aim to improve public health. In this chapter, the effects of e-health practices on the quality and accessibility of healthcare services are assessed and the extent of e-health practices in Turkey are evaluated.
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Universalism In Healthcare Services

The most important issue discussed in the field of healthcare services is whether it is possible to develop a system from which every person is able to benefit. Especially, in many of the developing countries, which do not have an established healthcare system, a significant rate of the population cannot reach the healthcare services or they have to pay for the use of healthcare services due to not having efficient social security. This situation causes the poor and disadvantaged people to be deprived of the healthcare services and also harms public consensus.

The main equity principle for the use of healthcare services is to enable all the citizens to access the healthcare services equally through the existent health institutes (public and private) of the country (NERA, 2009, p. 8). The concept of health is of equal importance for all people. The fact that people are poor or rich and they live in rural or urban area does not create a difference in their needs of health services. However, especially in the developing countries people living in urban areas with a high financial ability benefit from healthcare services much further compared to people living in the rural areas. People living in urban areas also know the procedure to reach the healthcare services better and so they can easily reach both public and private healthcare services. In fact, low cost investments on basic healthcare services made by governments can increase the general healthcare conditions and healthcare development of the country. However, especially in the developing countries, it has been seen that already limited health funds are used mostly for expensive technologies and urban areas (Akin &Ferranti, 1988, p.2).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health Transformation Program: A program that implemented by the Justice and Development Party in accordance with the principles of effectiveness and efficiency of the organization, financing, and delivery of programs in Turkey.

Tele-Consultations: Among specialists and practitioners to exchange information by means of information and communication technologies.

Universal Coverage: An approach that advocates healthcare and covering the whole population.

Decentralization: To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of health services and planning to transfer to local governments.

Acceptability: All health facilities, goods, and services must be respectful of medical ethics and culturally appropriate, as well as sensitive to gender and life-cycle requirements.

Accessibility: Health facilities, goods, and services accessible to everyone, within the jurisdiction of the state party.

Health Technologies: Any intervention that may be used to promote health, to prevent, diagnose or treat disease or for rehabilitation or long-term care. This includes the pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures, and organizational systems used in healthcare.

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