KonsultaMD, Globe bring telemedicine up to the mountains
Ain't no mountain high enough
In an archipelago such as the Philippines comprising of thousands of islands separated by seas, and mountainous regions covered by forests, accessibility to basic medical consultation among remote communities has always been a challenge.
For instance, a community of Dumagat tribe located in the Sierra Madre portion of Norzagaray, Bulacan is still seven to ten kilometers away from the nearest medical facility. This means hours of walking and transportation costs for one individual to get an access to a medical personnel even for just a simple consultation.
But with the availability of mobile technologies backed by service providers like Globe Telecom, this challenge is now being addressed by KonsultaMD, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Last Sunday, KonsultaMD, in partnership with Globe, demonstrated the possibility of telemedicine even in remote areas. A makeshift station was put up where Dumagat community members can contact a physician through KonsultaMD.
“This is the first project that we have for this year and there would be more projects in the succeeding months. We would be doing more of this type of activity to make it known to everyone that telemedicine is already available here in the Philippines,” said Alfie Paulino, Sales Manager, KonsultaMD. “We want to make it known that even in far-flung areas, you would be able to get hold of a licensed Filipino doctor by just subscribing to KonsultaMD.”
KonsultaMD is Global Telehealth, Inc.’s 24/7 health hotline service which provides access to licensed and professional doctors who, in return, give immediate attention to its members. Globe has invested in Global Telehealth to provide medical services to its consumers. Membership costs PhP 150 monthly for postpaid subscribers, which covers four additional members. Prepaid subscribers can get individual KonsultaMD membership for as low as PhP 15 weekly or equivalent to PhP 60 monthly. Members must simply call 79880 for mobile or (02) 798 8000 for landline to access KonsultaMD. KonsultaMD has 120,000 active subscribers at the moment.
“With KonsultaMD subscription plans, anytime, everywhere, you can get hold of a licensed Filipino doctor. Right now, what we wanted to happen, we would want our Dumagat brethren to experience how it is like to have an easy access to a doctor. We’re not trying to replace face-to-face consultation. We’re trying to bridge the gap where there is a need for an immediate medical attention. That is what telemedicine is all about,” Paulino added.