The office of Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, April 7, launched a teleconsultation platform which aims to provide medical assistance for outpatient cases, especially to those who have limited resources and access to doctors.
Dubbed Bayanihan E-Konsulta, this free service runs via a Facebook page and Messenger, to help those who cannot afford to access medical services or other existing teleconsult platforms. This is made possible with the help of volunteer doctors and health professionals, who will conduct the teleconsultation, following a screening process done by volunteers for its call center.
The platform currently caters to outpatient cases in the so-called “NCR Plus Bubble,” including Metro Manila and other areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Aside from teleconsult services from volunteer doctors, the page also provides information relevant to needs like testing, quarantine, and other available platforms for medical concerns.
For Robredo, the initiative was borne out of a desire to do more amid many calls for help from families desperate to find medical help for sick loved ones, and reports of overloaded hospitals and frontliners.
“So mula po noong Thursday until Easter Sunday, kami po ay sunod-sunod iyong aming Zoom meetings dito sa opisina para pag-usapan … paano ba kami mas makakatulong? Marami na po kaming programang nai-rollout, pero palagay namin kulang na kulang pa, considering na kapag nagbukas ka nga ng social media, sabi nga ng iba parang obituary. Maraming namamatay—at iyong mga namamatay, kakilala na natin: mga kaibigan, kamag-anak, kamag-anak ng mga kaibigan—na hindi puwedeng wala kaming gawin,” she said.
The Vice President said that despite her office’s limitations, they were determined to find ways to help amid the situation. Bayanihan E-Konsulta was then conceptualized, with the help of doctors and health professionals.
“Ito pong ginagawa natin, attempt po ito na kahit paano makatulong tayo maka-decongest ng mga hospitals. Na iyong mga pasyente, whether COVID or non-COVID, na hindi naman kailangang ma-hospitalize, at least kahit nasa bahay lang sila, mayroon silang medical help na matatanggap,” VP Leni said.
Meanwhile, the OVP will refer emergency cases that need immediate hospitalization to the One Hospital Command, in line with existing guidelines.
As of Tuesday evening, more than 2,300 volunteers signed up for the initiative. The OVP has temporarily put the registration on hold, in order to focus on the onboarding of volunteers and the rollout of the initiative.
The OVP’s Bayanihan E-Konsulta platform may be accessed at bit.ly/BayanihanEKonsulta.