Vice President Leni Robredo is calling on nurses, allied health workers, and medical interns and clerks apart from doctors to volunteer for her initiative, the Bayanihan E-Konsulta free medical teleconsult service for COVID-19 and non-COVID outpatients.
Robredo opened the registration for medical and non-medical volunteers again on April 26, Monday, after her project is overwhelmed with thousands of requests daily, creating a backlog that forced the platform to temporarily stop receiving requests for a day.
“After we posted the second call for volunteers yesterday, we received many inquiries if they can also volunteer. Yes, we need you – Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Medical Interns and Clerks,” she said in a Facebook post Tuesday night, April 27.
Robredo said nurses, allied health workers, and medical interns will help the Bayanihan E-Konsulta in giving medical guidance to its Chat Support Teams, monitoring COVID-positive patients, preparing the patients for consultations with doctors, and assisting and monitoring the Emergency Care Patients referred to the government’s One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) and the National Center for Mental Health.
The link for the sign-up sheet is published on her official Facebook page.
Robredo announced over the weekend that they have to do system upgrades and address the backlogs because of the thousands of requests they receive daily.
She said they intentionally made the platform “low-tech” so that even those without an internet connection can reach out to them.
However, even with more than 600 volunteer doctors and 1,900 non-medical volunteers, the initiative is still having a hard time coping with the demand.
On Monday, she made the call for volunteers again, specifically asking for more volunteer doctors—general practitioners, psychiatrists, surgeons, neurologists, allergologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, and cardiologists. Robredo also called for more volunteer psychologists as she realized the number of people with mental health problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier warned that the stress and adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic can increase the risk for depression.