The Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) free teleconsultation initiative will stop operating once it ascertains that the coronavirus cases in the country have further dropped in the coming days.
Vice President Leni Robredo, however, assured that the medical assistance program, which gives aid to people in need of funds for hospitalization, would continue.
“Kaya naman namin ginawa iyong Bayanihan E-Konsulta para makatulong sa pag-decongest ng mga ospital. So kapag maluwag na iyong mga ospital, hindi na masyadong mahirap maghanap ng hospitals, baka ibahin na namin iyong programa (We did Bayanihan E-Konsulta to help decongest the hospitals. Once the hospitals are not overwhelmed anymore, it’s not too difficult to find hospitals, we might change the program),” she said over dzXL Sunday, May 9.
The vice president reported that during the week of May 9 to May 14, they only had around 3,000 plus cases. This was down from the average of more than 10,000 requests that they had received in the past weeks.
Robredo said the online medical consultation program takes up much of the OVP’s time.
“Kasi iyong problema din namin ang laki-laking operations nito, napo-prohibit din kaming gawin iyong gusto naming gawin in response to COVID kasi halos lahat na personnel namin, involved na rito (Because our problem is this is a very big operations, it is prohibiting us from doing what we want in response to COVID because almost all of our personnel are involved here),” she added.
Right now, 100 of the OVP’s staff are involved in the Bayanihan E-Konsulta. That doesn’t count the 2,784 non-medical volunteers and 888 volunteer doctors who run the initiative.
Since Holy Week, her staff and volunteers have poured hours into making the initiative a reality.
“So sobrang importante sa amin ng week na ito. Itong week na starting today kasi kapag bumuti na, i-a-announce na namin kung mayroon nang changes sa programa (So, this week is very important to us. This week, starting today, when it’s better, we might announce changes in the program),” Robredo said.
The vice president added they will see to it that they will focus on urgent medical needs of those who will seek their help.
Meanwhile, Robredo also took the time to express gratitude once again to the volunteers of Bayanihan E-Konsulta.
“Filipinos, in time of need, will want to sacrifice themselves to help others. So there, we’re really touched by this. We’re touched by this because we know the hardships that everyone is going through now because of the second surge, but when we thought about a program, a lot helped us,” she shared in Filipino.
While the initiative has its shortcomings, especially with technical difficulties hounding the system, the vice president said they could not turn their backs on those asking for help.
In fact, they even had to hire an ambulance to address emergency cases.