Credit for the success of the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) Bayanihan E-Konsulta teleconsult service should go to her staff and the volunteer doctors and telephone operators, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday, April 18.
“Many are thanking me but I just want them to know that this is not because of me, but because of our staff, because of volunteer doctors, because of non-medical volunteers, they are the ones running the whole program,” she said in Filipino over dzXL.
The OVP’s free teleconsult service has received over 12,000 inquiries since its launch almost two weeks ago. It has over 600 volunteer doctors and 1,900 non-medical volunteers, mostly operators manning the initiative’s platform.
In fact, her staff has been working on the program since the Holy Week break.
Robredo admitted feeling guilty that her staff is overworked, but she said they all understood that there’s a great need for this kind of service.
The Bayanihan E-Konsulta aims to decongest hospitals and clinics and make medical advice accessible to those who do not have the means to pay for a doctor’s consultation. The service is free for both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients and can be accessed via free data.
“Kaya kami naman kung ano iyong magagawa namin ginagawa namin pero mahirap talaga (That’s why we try to do what we can but it’s really hard),” Robredo said.
But they all feel relieved when they hear back from a family member who’s thankful that they’re able to help their loved ones.
Robredo’s Facebook page has been filled with messages of gratitude from patients of the Bayanihan E-Konsulta. After all, aside from the free teleconsult service, the OVP also sends out a COVID Package Kit to the patients.
The kit consists of a digital thermometer, pulse oximeter, basic medications, sanitizer, face masks, disposable bags, and a monitoring sheet for possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Because of the influx of requests, Robredo herself mans the teleconsult service with some patients claiming to have talked with the country’s second-highest official.