Telemedicine: a South African legal perspective
CITATION: Le Roux, A. 2008.Telemedicine: A South African legal perspective . Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, 2008(1):99-114.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_tsar
The provision of healthcare services has changed rapidly and extensively over the past century, from what we now believe to be the cruel and inhumane treatments of the past, to the brilliant advances in technology currently available and the promise by medical scientists of even greater developments in the near future. However, despite this growing range of new and improved treatments, medicines and techniques, the provision of healthcare services is still hindered by problems regarding the high cost of healthcare, access to healthcare services for all and the quality of healthcare that is generally available. In developing countries in particular, one of the greatest challenges of healthcare services is to ensure that quality services are also provided in rural and isolated areas and that these services are accessible to all, including the very poor. This article focuses on telehealth and more specifically telemedicine, a development in the healthcare industry which is incorporated into various levels of service provision and which may address some of the current problem areas in the industry. The article aims to provide the reader with some insight into the development and use of telemedicine services and, more importantly, the legal consequences thereof and the potential influence of telemedicine services on the South African healthcare industry.