KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (MoH) and DoctorOnCall have established a Virtual Health Advisory portal to help address Covid-19’s risk communication needs.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said the initiative was part of DoctorOnCall’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked this morning.
He said the portal would provide free public access to consultations with MoH family medicine specialists or medical officers to address any uncertainties regarding Covid-19.
“Through the close collaboration between the Family Health Development Division, Family Medicine Specialists and DoctorOnCall, the ‘Virtual Health Advisory’ was successfully completed within four days and went live on Feb 17.
“However, this service is for health advisory purposes, not for diagnosing or treating patients.
“Direct counselling with a family medicine specialist or medical officer is provided via chat, audio, and video over the internet using a mobile device or desktop computer equipped with a camera,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
He said the portal, which can be accessed via www.moh.gov.my or www.doctoroncall.com.my/coronavirus, would reduce the need to physically seek advice on respiratory symptoms or Covid-19 at a clinic or hospital.
“It is intended to help disseminate up-to-date and accurate information about Covid-19, reduce congestion in health facilities, and provide preliminary Virtual Health Advisory screening or triage to clients prior to attending health facilities.
“This collaboration is a new starting point in risk communication. The diversity of platforms for the accurate and fast delivery of information to all walks of life is important in today’s social media era,” he said.
In a separate statement, DoctorOnCall said the public could access the portal seven days a week, between 8.30am and 5pm.
“On this portal, the public will be able to search for verified and credible written articles about the disease; take a self-assessment test to understand their risks, and should they wish to clarify their symptoms, speak to MoH doctors via chat, phone or video call.
“This free virtual health advisory platform allows a doctor to understand callers’ concerns, assess the symptoms, and advise on the necessary steps to be taken.
“Should a patient be identified with a high risk of infection, the necessary protocol within the MoH Crisis Preparedness And Response Centre (CPRC) will be activated by the doctor, all this achieved seamlessly.”