Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
  • A new national medical support hotline has been launched to assist South Africans, as the number of confirmed cases in the country passes the 1 300 infected mark.
  • Called “doctors on call” it is offering to provide free medical advice to South Africans from more than 450 medical doctors.
  • Callers will still pay the normal cost of the call
  • The number is 087 0550 234
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page. 

A new national medical support hotline has been launched to assist South Africans as the number of confirmed cases in the country passes the 1 300 infected mark.

Called “Doctors on Call” it is offering to provide free medical advice to South Africans from more than 450 medical doctors who have voluntarily committed their professional time and expertise to the initiative. 

Callers will still pay the normal cost of the call.

The initiative was launched by Nedbank, the KwaZulu-Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition, Usizo Advisory Solutions and the University of Cape Town's online collaboration and learning system app Vula to help give support and immediate advice to concerned South Africans who may start showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

At a time of heightened anxiety under lockdown, it gives South Africans easy access to a doctor rather than seeking advice in person and risking infecting health practitioners, who are expected to experience severe pressure as cases continue to rise.

“Support for this programme could help flatten the curve, save our health system from being overwhelmed, protect our economy and ultimately save lives,” said project leader Dr Anuschka Coovadia.

Three South Africans have died while 1 326 are now infected, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation on Monday night.

The service operates on weekdays from 08:00 until 17:00 and is manned by a dedicated unit of doctors. All doctors have been trained according to the national health guidelines standard operating processes and provide advice according to the NICD regulations.

Calls will be screened before being routed for a telephonic consultation with a doctor, for advice relating specifically to Covid-19.

Call data will be collected using Vula, which will then go toward looking for patterns that may assist if a similar event happens in the future.

They ask you to call under these circumstances:

  • You have a travel history and feel you might be exposed
  • Been in contact with the coronavirus via any other means
  • To get additional information about coronavirus

The Doctors on Call hotline is 087 0550 234.

Compiled by Jay Caboz 

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