Telemedicine is a medical practice which allows doctors to diagnose and monitor patients remotely by using telecommunications technology.
Telemedicine has been practiced for some time in Turkey under a pilot scheme. Since there are no laws regulating this practice, doctors presently cannot diagnose or prescribe medicines to consulting patients, but they only make “advices.”
For the time being, the use of telemedicine in Turkey is limited to the monitoring of COVID-19 patients.The Health Ministry is currently working to lay out the legal framework for telemedicine practice and the respective laws are expected to be enacted in early 2021, daily Hürriyet reported.
Most of the preparations for the legal infrastructure for telemedicine has been already completed, according to the daily.
Once fully implemented, telemedicine, which will cover both the private and public hospitals, is expected to lower the burden on hospitals and health care professionals. Following the initial consultations at a distance, doctors may invite the patients to the hospital for medical tests when they deem necessary.
People are already showing strong interest in telemedicine, put in practice by the Health Ministry under the pilot scheme, particularly in the field of psychiatry, the daily reported.