Philippines telecommunications company Global Telecom has partnered with Mexican telephone medical assistance firm Salud Interactiva to develop KonsultaMD, which is essentially a dial-a-doctor service for Filipinos.
Launched on August 3, 2015, KonsultaMD is a 24/7 health hotline service manned by skilled and licensed Filipino doctors who provide medical assessment and advice for primary conditions — such as fever, sore eyes, allergies, maternity and pediatrics — over the phone.
Besides providing medical advice, doctors also help with reading of and information on lab results, health coaching and nutrition counseling, and over-the-counter medication.
One primary benefit of this service is that patients can get immediate medical attention with zero waiting time, since patients can simply dial the hotline to get professional medical advice right on their phone.
Additionally, this telemedicine service also enables patients to avoid high medical consultation fees. Globe postpaid users only need to pay a subscription fee of PHP 150 (US$3.30) per month, which entitles them and three other household members to make unlimited calls to the doctors. Subscription is free for the first two months, thereafter the user will be charged from the third month onwards.
Globe prepaid users may also subscribe to the service for PHP 15 (US$0.33) a week. Calls using Globe are charged PHP 1 (US$0.02) per minute, while calls via landline are free. Non-Globe users need to pay the regular mobile and landline rates.
Currently, KonsultaMD has 10 doctors manning its call centre in the Philippines, but this number is expected to grow with increased demand. Most of these doctors specialise in family medicine, and all of them work in clinics and hospitals outside their shifts.
In terms of the accuracy of the assessment they provide, KonsultaMD said that although they are composed of trained medical specialists, they will only provide initial assessment which should not replace actual, physical assessment. Their doctors will still advice patients to see a doctor if necessary, it added.
All Globe customers may sign up to this service via KonsultaMD's site, the hotline, or by visiting a Globe store. Non-Globe users must visit a Globe store.
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