As hospitals are swamped, Pinoy doctors open COVID-19 consultation online

Bettina Magsaysay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2020 10:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2020 11:39 PM

MANILA--Coughs, colds, fever, dizziness. Wondering if these symptoms could be related to the new coronavirus disease? Thanks to several doctors' groups, the public can now consult with a specialist from the comfort of their own home.

Online consultations for COVID 19-related concerns or other illnesses can now be coursed through their Facebook pages, where physicians will be readily available to answer health-related questions. This is their way to help decongest hospitals, especially now that these institutions are overwhelmed with the number of patients they are attending to.

One of the Facebook pages that offer online consultations is COVID AskForce. 

Dr. Kim Villanueva, team leader of the Lung Center of the Philippines Covid Ask Force, says this is their way of helping. 

“Bilang mga frontliner dito sa ating krisis naisipan namin na kailangan namin gawin ito upang tulungan ang mga kababayan natin. Kasi yung iba natin volunteers doctor dito ay nagtratrabaho rin sa mga ospital at nire-require rin sila mag-quarantine sa kani-kanilang mga bahay, So by doing this, kahit papaano kahit wala sila sa ospital ay nakakapagbigay pa rin sila ng serbisyo po para sa ating mga kababayan," Villanueva said.

Another Facebook page to visit is the Coalition for People's Right to Health

Aside from their online consultation page, they also provide a hotline number (02) 8806-1306, which is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

"Isang tulong din po na abisuhan natin kung kailangan ba muna nilang obserbahan o kailangan muna may mga basic na babantayan muna sa bahay, kaysa po na napupuno yung mga emergency room natin ng mga pasyente na hindi naman talaga ganoon kalala pa ang kanilang mga sintomas na nangangailangan ng agarang medical attention," Dr. Joshua San Pedro, co-convenor of the Coalition for People's Right to Health, said.

Also ready to help is a group of pulmonologists through the MDH Pulmonology Postgraduate Course page.

Questions can also be forwarded to Doctors Online Consultation for Filipinos group on Facebook.

Most questions received on the page are about symptoms of COVID-19, but queries regarding other illnesses will also be accommodated.

The groups made a guarantee that the information they gather will be made confidential.