This COVID-19 crisis and resulting ECQ couldn’t have come at a worse time for us as first-time parents. This is the time we depend so much on a pediatrician to monitor our baby’s health and growth, not to mention answer all my anxious questions about my baby (a lot!). But because of the lockdown, we can’t bring her to the hospital for her vaccinations and when she had a bout of diarrhea. I couldn’t sleep at night worrying about my baby and not knowing what to do because her pedia here in Iloilo didn’t give her mobile number.
While it’s easy to Google symptoms and remedies, I prefer to get medical advice from doctors. I was glad to discover KonsultaMD, a 24/7 health hotline service manned by skilled and licensed Filipino doctors who provide medical assessment and advice over the phone. They are fully-equipped with the modules, internal protocols, and knowledge on how to deal with various medical concerns including COVID-19. With KonsultaMD, the public will be able to get immediate and affordable medical attention, anytime, anywhere in the Philippines. Telemedicine is a viable alternative to visits to hospital emergency rooms which should be reserved for more critical situations.
By dialing 79880 toll-free from Globe or TM mobile phones or 02-7798-8000 from any landline, anyone may talk to a doctor to ask for medical information for primary conditions, maternity, pediatrics, mental health, COVID-19; interim care and self care recommendations; health coaching; nutrition counseling; reading of laboratory and diagnostic results; and permissible medication, among others. KonsultaMD doctors can also determine the urgency of the situation, whether it is an emergency or not, whether they need to go to the hospital for further evaluation or testing, through telephone triaging.
My KonsultaMD experience
When you call, it gives you the wait time. In my experience, it was always a 5-minute wait time. However, you have the option to have them call you back once a doctor becomes available to talk to you. In the two times I tried this option, it took them over 5 minutes to call back, but I still found it efficient that they actually did so. A call center agent confirms with you that you requested a call-back before transferring you to a doctor. On another try, I didn’t even have to wait or speak to a call center agent; a doctor was the one who took my call.
Dr. Santos answered my questions like whether it was okay that my baby’s vaccination schedule has been delayed because of the lockdown. He assured me it was okay and that a lot of parents actually call in with this query, and they tell them that it’s really not encouraged to bring a baby to the hospital just to get vaccinated. I was also able to ask whether my baby’s weight and length were right for her age, and how much formula she should now be taking in at three months. For this question, Dr. Santos consulted their resident pedia to give a precise answer. He patiently answered all my other questions and assured me that based on my description of my baby, she’s healthy. It was such a relief to talk to a doctor finally and be told everything is okay so far.
Calling KonsultaMD is much better than just doing a Google search and hoping to find something that will shed light on what to do for my baby—but remain uncertain whether it’s legit medical info. Through KonsultaMD, I know I’m talking to an actual trained and licensed medical practitioner. They are able to ask me questions so I can give them a clearer picture of my baby’s health concerns, and they give me personalized medical advice, of course. I appreciate that they have a resident pedia.
And the service is available 24/7 so I can call even late at night when I’m free to do while baby’s sleeping. I can also call as often as I want anytime I worry about something (which is often) without also worrying that I’m being kulit as I would to, say, my doctor and mommy friends. Thanks to KonsultaMD, I feel more secure knowing I have easy access to medical assistance without having to risk going to the hospital and breaking quarantine protocols, especially since my husband and I have chosen to isolate ourselves in a farm in a rural area of Iloilo province, away from the hospitals in the city. Since there is no physical interaction with doctors, we also avoid exposure to other illnesses when we seek advice on our health-related symptoms or queries.
How to subscribe to KonsultaMD
KonsultaMD has an ongoing promo for free 1 month subscription until April 30 to anyone without existing membership who will sign up via bit.ly/KonsultaMDRegister. Once registered, you can already get medical advice from doctors you can actually talk to over the phone about your specific concerns.
Globe and TM customers who subscribed to KonsultaMD may get in touch with a doctor via the 79880 telehealth hotline without incurring mobile call charges during this COVID-19 crisis. The company has decided to remove the P1 per minute charge for calls to the 79880 mobile hotline to make it easier for the public to avail of medical advice anytime they want to.
After the promo, KonsultaMD offers unlimited immediate access to doctors 24/7 through flexible and affordable plans such as an individual subscription fee of P15 a week or P60 a month for Globe Prepaid and TM customers, deductible from their prepaid load. For Globe Postpaid customers, they have the option to subscribe to a P99 per week plan which may be extended to one additional family member or P150 per month with four extensions, chargeable to their monthly bill. Non-Globe and TM customers may also avail of KonsultaMD services through a one-year subscription of P150 per month for group or P60 a month for individual, payable via credit card or mobile money and subject to regular cell phone charges if call is via mobile. Subscriptions may be done by visiting konsulta.md/subscribe and calling 79880 toll-free via mobile (for Globe/TM customers) or (02) 7798-8000.
KonsultaMD is under 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom.