MANILA – A Barangay in Pasig is offering free online medical consultations to help its residents with their medical needs and avoid contracting other diseases during an onsite visit to the hospitals.
The “Barangay San Antonio Online Doctor Consultation” project was recently launched to provide free consultation to barangay residents in the comfort of their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barangay San Antonio is the first among 30 barangays to provide free online health consultation to its residents.
BSA chairman Raymond Lising said his constituents may avail of the free medical service by just clicking: http://bit.ly/BSAONLINECONSULTATION or they may also scan the QR code on the barangay’s Facebook page.
Lising said this program will decongest hospitals and health centers and also limit face-to-face interaction between patients and doctors as an anti-Covid-19 measure.
“After accessing the link, our residents will have to fill out the online form and provide their basic details to book an appointment with our doctors,” he said. “They will be asked for their preferred time and date of consultation.”
He said the telemedicine service is available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
“The BSA health center will contact them through the details they provided — either through Facebook or Viber before their schedule. The doctor will call them using the mobile phone of our health center,” Lising said.
Doctor’s prescriptions will be sent by the barangay also through Messenger or Viber.
The barangay chairman said the safety of their constituents is their primordial concern which prompted the launching of this project.
“Due to the surge of Covid-19 in Metro Manila and the threat posed by the Delta variant, it is dangerous for our kabarangays to leave their homes because they might catch the dreaded disease,” he said.
Lising said the program will protect doctors as well as their patients from possible exposure to Covid-19.
The in-house doctors of the BSA’s barangay health center will provide free medical consultation to residents.
“To our kabarangays, know that we, at the barangay, are doing everything to make help very accessible to you during these trying times. For now, the best thing you could do is to stay at home to save lives,” he said.
In April 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has developed a framework for telemedicine services in a bid to improve access to health services during the health crisis.
Under the DOH-NPC Joint Memorandum Circular, 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. The DOH’s collaboration with the NPC seeks to allay concerns on data privacy and confidentiality.
All DOH-recognized telemedicine providers are registered entities of the NPC. As such, doctors providing telemedicine services are licensed and certified to provide telemedicine consultations. (PR)