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  • DOH COVID-19 Hotline Now Provides Free Telemedicine Consultations

    For non-emergency medical concerns, telemedicine may be the new normal.
    by Rachel Perez .
DOH COVID-19 Hotline Now Provides Free Telemedicine Consultations
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The Department of Health (DOH) initially directed everyone who has questions about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to call its hotline. Now the DOH hotline provides free telemedicine consultations. 

    Starting today, April 7, 2020, the Health Department's COVID-19 hotline will provide free telemedicine consultations for all COVID-19-related medical advice and non-COVID-19 health-related concerns. This is for residents of the National Capital Region, according to the DOH press release.

    The Health Department partnered with Telimed Management, Inc., and Medgate to provide this service. All doctors are licensed and certified to give telemedicine consultations. 

    You can reach the DOH COVID-19 hotline at +632 894-26843 (COVID) for free. Smart and PLDT subscribers can dial 1555 for free. For other networks, some charges may apply. It's available 24/7. 

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    The Lung Center of the Philippines, one of the COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila, also launched its Lung Center COVID Ask Force (facebook.com/COVIDAskForce). On this Facebook page, users can consult and ask doctors about COVID-19. Clinic hours are from 8:00 to 11: 00 a.m. and 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. To help doctors address each concern, the cut-off time is at 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

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    For mental health concerns, the National Care for Mental Health also offers its professional services. Call its hotlines: +63917 899-8727 (USAP) or +632 899-8727 (USAP) or via Mind Matters hotline: +63918 942-4864.

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    What is telemedicine and how does it work 

    Telemedicine consultations are done via phone or video-conferencing. It's primarily helpful for people caring for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms or persons in self-isolation or under home quarantine

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    Telemedicine also addresses people's medical concerns if they can't (or don't want to) go to clinics or hospitals for a medical checkup in fear of contracting COVID-19. People who are at high-risk of getting infected such as the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems can use telemedicine for non-emergency concerns. 

    According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), telemedicine consultations are helpful in the following aspects: 

    • Providing non-primary care for patients who live far from hospitals or doctor's clinics
    • Encouraging patients to seek early consultation that doesn't require them going out of the house before their symptoms get worse
    • Close monitoring of a patient's condition 

    Aside from the DOH COVID-19 Hotline and Lung Center Ask COVID Facebook page, below are more companies that provide telemedicine consults:

    Doctors of MD Link Healthcare also provides free medical consultation via different chat apps such as Facebook Messenger and Viber during the duration of the quarantine. Call +63 922-8280357, +63 922-8672525.

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    Hi-Precision Diagnostics's free medical consultation schedule is from Mondays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call +632 8741-7777, then press 3. You can also call +63 943-1351858 and +63  933-8231119 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. 

    KonsultaMD has a team of doctors who can handle questions on how to deal with various medical concerns, including COVID-19, for a minimal fee. Contact: +632 7798-8000 or dial 79880 for Globe and TM subscribers. 

    Click here for more individual healthcare providers that also provide telemedicine consultations. 

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