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Dominican Republic establishes National eHealth Strategic Committee

With the establishment of the National eHealth Strategic Committee, the Dominican Republic is making progress in implementing the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth for the Americas. The purpose of this committee is to set national priorities for the cost-effective and secure use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the health arena.

This intersectoral committee, grounded in a broad participatory process, is headed by Minister of Health Dr. Lorenzo Wilfredo Hidalgo. Its members include key organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO); the National Institute of Technology (INTEC) in Santo Domingo; the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development; the Office of the President; the Bureau of Occupational Health and Safety (SISALRIL); the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL); the National Health Insurance Authority (SENASA); the Office of Information and Communication Technology (OPTIC); and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). Two ICT and health specialists also participate—Drs. Fernando Rojas and Eddy Pérez Then, Director of the Knowledge Management Department at CEDIMAT.

“This initiative contributes to the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic’s National Health System,” noted Minister of Health Hidalgo. The eHealth strategy for the Americas is envisaged as a means of increasing access to health services and upgrading their quality through the use of ICT, access to evidence-based information, the development of digital literacy, and training in ICT.

Minister Hidalgo affirmed his commitment to using ICT in all public health facilities, as doing so would ensure health service clients a speedier response.

The Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth for the Americas was approved by the PAHO Member States in November 2011 during the 51st Session of the Organization’s Directing Council. In so doing, the countries of the Americas committed to supporting and promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective, integrated, and sustainable public policies on the adoption and use of ICT in public health.

The launch of the National eHealth Strategic Committee took place on December 18, 2012 at Ministry of Health headquarters in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

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