The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has renewed its call for additional volunteer doctors and non-medical staff for its free teleconsultation service which it launched over two weeks ago.
The OVP's Bayanihan E-Konsulta – a free teleconsultation service on Facebook and Messenger for outpatient cases in Metro Manila and nearby provinces or "NCR Plus" – is conducted with the help of volunteer doctors and health professionals.
As of Monday, April 23, Vice President Leni Robredo said they were able to receive 25,494 transactions and onboarded 642 volunteer doctors, 1,974 non-medical volunteers, and involved 87 OVP staff in the day-to-day operations.
“It has been both a whirlwind and a rollercoaster ride for all of us. What we were initially imagining to be a simple low-tech teleconsult operations to fill in a few gaps, turned out to be the huge, complicated network that it is now. We did not realize the gap was this big,” Robredo said in a Facebook post.
“We are already overwhelmed by the generosity and selflessness of our volunteer doctors but we need more so we can serve more,” the Vice President added.
The OVP launched the free service to help decongest hospitals and aid those who cannot afford to access medical services or other existing teleconsult platforms.
Doctors of all specializations are welcome to volunteer but they are in need of more psychiatrists, surgeons, neurologists, allergologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and psychologists.
Considering the heavy load of doctors during the pandemic, the OVP stressed that there is no minimum number of hours that volunteer doctors can render in a week and that the team will adjust to the volunteers’ availability.
They are also looking for non-medical staff who are interested to assist in chat support, triaging and tagging, monitoring of COVID-19 patients by telephone, call bridging agents, and tech support. Since all consultations are through telephone, volunteers can come from anywhere in the country.