Teleconsultation connects patients to doctors amid pandemic
DAVAO CITY, June 5 (PIA)- With the raging COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals are facing a quandary; how can their patients reach them.
Fortunately, teleconsultation or telemedicine, greatly reduces the need for face-to-face contact which would protect the patients and the health care professionals from exposure to possible pathogenic hazards.
In Davao City, the Davao Central 911 Emergency Response Center has set-up a call center that facilitates phone call consultations for patients who cannot go to the hospital.
Thru the 911, individuals can speak with their emergency medical technician or on-call doctors for free without having to travel or exposed to health risks.
Also the Center for Mental Health and Psychosocial Development’s HOFFEN Clinic of Adventist Hospital Davao has their HOPE Line to offer free psychological first aid via phone calls from PUIs (persons under investigations) or PUMs (persons under monitoring) and their families through a special hotline.
To support telemedicine efforts in Mindanao, PLDT thru its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. has extended communications support to the Davao Central 911 and HOPE Line.
The company have provided load and call conferencing service support for Davao Central 911, and a special number for HOPE Line’s telepsychology services – 0951-815-HOPE (4673).
Since teleconsultation started, the Davao Central 911 has been receiving an average of 200 calls daily.
The consultations are also primarily for regular/non-Covid patients. However, if a patient has Covid-like symptoms and has recent travel history or exposure to a PUI, the case is endorsed to Davao Covid-19 Task Force for proper handling.
Teleconsultations provide avenues for patients to access their doctors without having to go to the hospital and reinforce the advice for the public to stay at home to avoid catching the virus.
“The spread of the infection depends on the people’s ability to understand that staying at home will help. Doctors, nurses, health care workers — we are but your last line of defense in the fight against COVID. We continue to work for you, despite the risks of getting infected. So, do your share, stay at home. It helps us a lot,” Dr. Vernna Dee Marie Guille-Familiar from the Emergency Medicine Department of Southern Philippines Medical Center and a volunteer doctor of 911 Telemedicine said.
“Smart is committed to providing innovative communications solutions that help fight the Covid pandemic. The NMMC (Northern Mindanao Medical Center) and Davao Central 911 are using technology to enable their doctors to treat patients despite the current restrictions. That’s why we are quite happy to support their initiatives,” Mon Isberto, Smart Public Affairs head said (PIA/RG Alama).