17 October 2022
ICT, Higher Education Ministers Discuss Cooperation, University Hospital Automation, Telemedicine Initiative


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat held a meeting, on Sunday, with the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ayman Ashour, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Higher Education. They discussed enhancing cooperation in areas of common interest.
 
During the meeting, Talaat highlighted the close collaboration between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Ministry of Higher Education in a number of areas. Capitalizing on digital technologies, the two ministries work together to improve university education and implement digital transformation and automation projects in the Ministry of Higher Education, within the framework of the Digital Egypt strategy. In addition, they cooperate to form a talent pool in different ICT fields and automate university hospitals, helping create a single medical record for each citizen.
 
The ICT Minister stressed the importance of the meeting in checking the implementation status of joint projects. He valued the cooperation offered by presidents of national universities to implement a successful first phase of the digital exams model at universities, starting with medical colleges. Talaat underlined the significance of maintaining cooperation in implementing the second phase of the project to include other science colleges.
 
For his part, the Minister of Higher Education commended the collaboration between the two ministries in several areas and projects, including university hospital automation, the information infrastructure upgrade, telemedicine, and phase two of the digital exams system.
 
Other projects in the pipeline include establishing tech universities. Ashour highlighted the prominent role of tech universities, adding that the political leadership attaches high priority to promoting tech education and meeting future labor market needs through advanced academic programs that qualify young people to fill in future jobs.
 
Three tech universities opened their doors in 2019 and seven in 2022-2023, the Higher Education Minister revealed. The Ministry has set a goal to establish tech universities nationwide to link education and industry and create a skilled workforce, highlighted the Minister, adding that universities are increasingly introducing ICT disciplines.
 
The meeting discussed the status of the university hospital automation project. Hospitals are digitized and their information infrastructure is developed, helping Egypt become part of the global health ecosystem, following the standards set by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
 
Phase one of the project covers the university hospitals affiliated with 12 national universities: Cairo, Ain Shams, Alexandria, Assiut, Mansoura, Tanta, Beni-Suef, Aswan, Menofia, South Valley, Suez Canal and Al-Azhar.
 
The two sides agreed on maintaining cooperation and coordination with different agencies to develop the information infrastructure in universities and transform universities into digital educational institutions, as part of the national digital transformation strategy.
 
The meeting reviewed the efforts made to promote tech education, including offering academic programs in line with the needs of the future labor market to qualify graduates to build Digital Egypt, developing laboratories, and focusing on hands-on training at universities and ICT companies to hone students’ skills and experiences. Other efforts include developing comprehensive plans for establishing IT universities that deliver modern academic programs, helping students acquire in-demand skills in the current and future job marketplaces.
 
During the meeting, the two sides stressed the importance of cooperating to fulfill the telemedicine presidential initiative. The aim is to improve the quality of healthcare services, employ technological solutions in treating diseases, and improve access of people in remote and marginalized areas to healthcare services.
 
Telemedicine also saves the time, money and energy spent to travel to major hospitals, whether university hospitals or those affiliated with the Ministry of Health. The initiative involves providing medical consultations through telemedicine applications, in coordination with different agencies.
 
Moreover, the two ministers discussed potential cooperation and coordination with a number of state agencies to develop the databases of Egyptian expatriates, including university professors, envoys, experts, and students, to facilitate the exchange of expertise, ideas and views on different matters. Another objective is to collaborate with Egyptian scientists working abroad, to develop the Egyptian society.
 
The meeting was attended by Secretary General of the Supreme Council of University Hospitals Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, Assistant Minister of Higher Education for Digital Transformation Hesham Farouk, Acting President of the Cultural Affairs and Missions Sector Ashraf Alazzazi, President of the Central Administration for Missions and Cultural Representation Haitham Hamza, Permanent Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ahmed Al-Sheikh, Director of the Digital Transformation Unit Nasser Al Amir, and member of the ministerial committee for the automation of university hospitals Ibrahim Fakhr.
 
From MCIT, the meeting was attended by Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Raafat Hindy, Assistant Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy, Assistant Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin, and Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka.

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