Srinagar: A group of 300 doctors from across the world have come together to set up a free telemedicine consultation service in Jammu and Kashmir to serve non-COVID-19 patients who have suffered as the focus of the existing healthcare infrastructure has been on dealing with the pandemic.
Under the ‘Dial a Doctor’ programme, more than 300 doctors across the globe and from different specialties and sub-specialties provide voluntary health services to the patients.
Ehsaas International and Dard Welfare Society, in association with Kashmir Health Care Support Group, have initiated this healthcare consultative service, Hakim Mohammad Ilyas, general secretary of Ehsaas International, told PTI.
“Considering the adverse impact the COVID-19 pandemic has put on the existing health infrastructure of J&K, we decided to launch ‘Dial a Doctor’ programme wherein people would get access to quality health consultations and services without leaving the four walls of their houses,” he said.
“This was conceptualised keeping in view that hospitals are high risk places for contraction of COVID-19 and many medical ailments can be managed by telephonic consultations thus avoiding visit of patients to hospitals,” Ilyas said.
To ensure timely disposal of queries, a control room managed by doctors and paramedical staff has been set up with a toll free number 1800 889 2729 backed with 10 lines at the back end to avoid any inconvenience to the patients, he said.
“In the last two months, more than 2,000 consultations have been provided to the people free of cost,” he added.
Chairman of Ehsaas International Tabassum Geelani said this service is being delivered with the approval of Health and Medical Education Department, the Government of J&K and it has brought a sigh of relief to the patients who do not have to undertake risky visits to hospitals for ailments other than COVID-19.
“The doctors associated with the initiative readily agreed to offer their selfless services and are relentlessly providing their expertise by managing the patients through telemedicine consultations, Geelani added.
The organisers of the telemedicine service want to continue the service even after the pandemic in view of the dedication shown by the doctors and the benefits availed by the patients.