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Philippine Medical Association provides free online consultation

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) is offering free online consultation to help patients in their medical needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Laging Handa Public Briefing last week, the PMA Vice President, Dr Benito Atienza, cited the importance of online consultation to help patients.

He noted that through online consultation, patients are less likely to contract other infections at hospitals. Aside from teleconsultations (non-physical contact), doctors can also provide their patients with e-prescriptions.

The medical professional advised the public to visit the Digital Online Consultation for People’s Healthcare (DOCPH) website and follow the steps upon registration. Clinic hours are from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, daily.

He also assured that all data that will be provided is protected by the Data Privacy Act.

The PMA official added that their association is closely working with the Philippine Hospital Association and the Department of Health (DOH), wherein they also provide referrals to other hospitals that would cater to the needs of consulting patients.

According to DOH, medical consultations over the phone, chat, short messaging service (SMS), and other audio and visual-conferencing platforms are considered telemedicine services in the country.

Healthcare providers conducting these consultations are allowed to issue electronic case reports and prescriptions.

Launched in April, DOC PHILIPPINES (DOCPH) is a free online consultation facility that primarily aims to help ease the huge number of patients crowding hospitals/clinics due to the COVID-19 crisis by providing effective professional telemedicine services nationwide directly to people.

The Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital (MMWGH) is also providing online consultation for psychological or psychosocial support to Bataan residents.

The Zero Kilometro Bataan COVID-19 Response will prioritise health workers during its pilot launching as they are more prone to stress and anxiety during this crisis, OpenGov reported earlier.

Clients can seek psychological or mental health assistance by messaging the social media platform and after profiling, a Zero Kilometro representative will directly call the client to schedule sessions.

Various agencies will carry out sessions and will be responsible for referrals to other agencies that can answer the client’s concern.

The solon provided 10 smartphones, including postpaid plans, to MMWGH personnel who will reach out to clients.

The tele-wellness service is open for Bataenos with zero knowledge about mental health support systems and will cater to everyone as it promotes zero discrimination.

More than a hundred days since the start of the community quarantine, several online discussions on strengthening tuberculosis (TB) response amid COVID-19 have been conducted by DOH and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Through its project for sustainable detection, care, and treatment, local chief executives and health and information officers from Marawi and the National Capital Region participated in the first-ever webinar on Universal Health Care (UHC).

Dubbed “Usapang Dibdiban on UHC Act: What Local Chief Executives Should Know and Expect,” the webinar gathered experts and resource persons and explained the objectives of the law and its implementation challenges.

The discussion focused on TB as an important tracer disease to measure the success of the UHC implementation.

The DOH Special Assistant to the Secretary for UHC said that UHC automatically enrols all Filipinos in the country in the National Health Insurance Programme.

It seeks to ensure that all Filipinos have access to comprehensive health services. She also said that UHC is an integrated approach that ensures health literacy, healthy living, and protection from hazards and risks.

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