Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Sarangani runs 24/7 Tele-Konsulta amid COVID-19 lockdown

ALABEL, Sarangani (April 16, 2020) – To curb the influx of patients in the hospitals and healthcare centers in Sarangani, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has launched “24/7 Sarangani Tele-Konsulta”, a virtual consultation that allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients.

This is pursuant to the Provincial Executive Order No. 08 “Declaring General Community Quarantine and Strengthening Measures to Prevent and Further Spreading of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the Province of Sarangani.”

All province-run hospitals are directed to observe proper social distancing protocol at the workplace, particularly emergency room and out-patient units, to ensure the safety and protection of frontline workers.

The service, in particular, will allow those who are ill to call and consult with medical personnel regarding their symptoms without having to check-in at a hospital.

Of the six province-run hospitals in Sarangani, Dr. Cornelio Martinez Sr. Memorial Hospital in Kiamba was the first to operate the Tele-Konsulta service. Residents living there may ask for assistance through mobile numbers 0917-700-0697 or 0920-9586-009, and landline number (083) 893-4142.

Maasim Municipal Hospital can be reached through 0906-453-6338 or 0961-314-5537 and landline number (083) 893-0062.

Maitum Municipal Hospital’s number is 0946-709-6618.

Residents may contact Glan Medicare Community Hospital through mobile numbers 0951-535-7273 and 0975-769-1711.

Malungon Municipal Hospital can be reached through 0951-814-8697 and 0935-642-1539.

The Capitol-based Sarangani Health Care Facility can be utilized by the residents living in Alabel and Malapatan towns and can be reached through the mobile numbers 0951-307-5985 and 0927-380-3633.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, provincial health officer, said residents may contact any of the aforementioned contact numbers for consultation. However, “mas mabuti pa din to contact the nearest facility sa kanila, kasi kapag kinakailangan na talagang actual na ma-check yung patient, it would just give more hassle and risk kung babyahe pa if they decided to contact Tele-Konsulta from other municipalities.”

The PHO is also planning to establish one Facebook messenger account “na ang magma-manage is ang provincial health office.”

“Kung may mga physical damages na kailangan tingnan, sooner they will just need to send a picture doon sa ating messenger. This can be done and this will help us maximize our technology through social media.”

Dr. Alejandro emphasized “this Tele-Konsulta is very advantageous and even without a COVID-19 state of emergency, we will be sustaining this service in all our hospitals in the province.”

Each hospital is operating the service by providing one mobile phone with permanent SIM cards for Globe and Smart, one separate landline and shifting staff designated for the Tele-Konsulta service operational 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Dr. Alejandro said “yung protocol natin ngayon na if there are medicines needed, kailangan lang papuntahin yung healthy member ng household and get the medicines from the pharmacy.”

“But along the implementation” Alejandro clarified, “we are still looking up for partnership doon sa ating mga botika sa palengke para doon na lang din sila didiretso at kukuha kung saan mas malapit."

"Good thing din to if we have mga botika ng barangay in some clustered barangays in the province," Alejandro added.

The Sarangani 24/7 Tele-Konsulta “is already a portion of what is being required in our Universal Health Care Act which focuses on the strengthening of the primary health care services.”

The Sarangani 24/7 Tele-Konsulta comes in the wake of the launch of the DOH-COVID hotlines partnered with Telimed Management Inc. and Medgate to provide free “TeleMedicine” consultations to patients who need COVID-19 medical advice and other non-COVID19 primary consultations.

This service started on April 7 in the National Capital Region where residents can call the 24/7 TeleMedicine designated hotlines to consult with a doctor for COVID-19 medical advice and non-COVID19 health-related concerns free of charge.

“However,” Alejandro added, “in our province, we are operating the Tele-Konsulta on our own, organic, unlike sa Luzon na operated via third party.”

“We can do it on our own,” said Alejandro since “our hospitals are operating 24/7, might as well make it just like a call center for disease entities lang since 24/7 naman to na operational. Our hospitals should really have that as an additional service.”

Morover, “in our province,” Alejandro added, “we will just have to polish the establishment of a system just like yung magiging pharmacy partners natin kasi kapag tatawag yung staff ng hospital natin, the patient’s relative may get the medicine and they will just have to provide yung mga reseta through text or messenger para hindi din sila sitahin nung PDEA.” (Joshua John Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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