In light of the COVID pandemic, the global lockdown has greatly affected cities around the world. Some cities have become epicenters of the pandemic, which intensified the spread and transmission of the virus with their dense population and transport networks. Hence, in line with this, cities play a critical role when it comes to its containment and response.
In the Liveable Cities Challenge (LCC) Liveable Cities Lab on “Digital Transformation in a Post GCQ World: Building Healthy Cities and Municipalities” held last 22 August 2020, KonsultaMD shared with the audience how can the LGUs extend the giving of health services especially to the far-flung or remote areas through telemedicine. KonsultaMD is a subscription-based telehealth service that’s available 24/7, allowing access to skilled and licensed Filipino doctors who can provide safe medical assessment and advice on basic healthcare and proper medication.
Cholo Tagaysay, Chief Operations Officer of KonsultaMD highlighted that “While telehealth is not the best alternative to actually seeing a doctor, it is the next best thing when there is no doctor physically present. It can also address the cost of healthcare and most importantly, you can call a doctor as much as you need to.”
With the pandemic affecting almost all parts of the country right now, doctors are harder to find especially in the provinces and rural areas. According to Tagaysay, the ratio is that for every 33,000 Filipinos, there is only one doctor in the country.
Moreover, the Department of Health is also spearheading the implementation of telemedicine especially now that the country is moving towards the new normal and the pandemic has shown challenges that need to be addressed with immediate but impactful solutions.
“Telemedicine improves access to health information and services hampered by geographic, transportation and communication barriers as well as health provider shortages,” said Dr. Eric Tayag, Director of Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service of the DOH.
Aside from Dr. Tayag and Mr. Tagaysay, Ms Sacha Bootsma, Technical Officer on Health Emergencies of the World Health Organization also spoke about the current COVID trends worldwide and its implication on Public Healthcare. Likewise, Dr. Gia Sison, Head of Women’s Wellness Center of the Makati Medical Center also talked about the impact of the COVID pandemic in our mental health, and as she explored the pandemic’s emotional toll and shared coping strategies, as well as insights on the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
Moderated by LCC Chair Guillermo Luz, the Liveable Cities Lab is held every other Wednesday. The series feature topics to equip city leaders and stakeholders with knowledge and insights to help them best serve their communities.
The next Liveable Cities Lab Session will focus on Data Analytics for Cities which will be held on September 2, 2020 (Wednesday), 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.