THOSE tested positive for Covid-19 and placed under 10-day home quarantine can now consult certified doctors from the comfort of their homes via video calls or phone calls for free.
The initiative under Pgcare Alliance and Doctor Touch is open to all levels of the community including foreigners residing in Penang until further notice.
It is especially aimed at those from the B40 and M40 groups.
But in the event a patient requires medication, the medical and delivery fees will be charged accordingly.
Pgcare Alliance vice-chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the state government was aware that many Covid-19 patients needed medical consultation and advice throughout their isolation period.
“PGCare Alliance is delighted to announce Malaysia’s first public telehealth service for Covid-19 home quarantine patients.
“We will absorb the RM5 platform service fees to lighten the burden of those in need.
“Our hospital beds and quarantine centres are running low on capacity, and our healthcare system continues to struggle in coping with the spike in cases.
“As of Sept 16, the average daily Covid-19 cases for the past one week was 1,649 cases,” he said.
The service is available from 9am till 10pm daily, with a panel of volunteer doctors on the line.
Yeoh said the telehealth service would be available in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin.
He said the first two days saw 11 patients signing up for the service, adding that eight doctors were on duty then.
He urged doctors from Penang as well as other states to volunteer and join the initiative.
Doctor Touch chief executive officer Chan Eu Jin said getting an appointment would be a simple process on the newly developed virtual care website.
He said a patient must first upload a photo of the quarantine letter or home surveillance order from the MySejahtera app.
“Patients must then choose their appointments based on two categories — urgent care or advance appointment.
“All doctors will receive an alert once an urgent care appointment is made and those available will attend to the cases.
“After consultation, patients who require any medication will be given an e-Prescription by the doctors on Doctor Touch.
“Payment for medicines will be made via online bank transfer using credit or debit card.
“Delivery fees of RM5 to RM10 will be imposed, depending on the area of delivery.
“If the order is more than RM100, delivery costs will be waived.
“BIG Pharmacy in Jelutong, one of the partners of PgCare Alliance, will pack and deliver the necessary medication to the patient within two hours,” he said during a virtual launch on the telehealth service via Zoom meeting on Friday.
PGCare Alliance chief strategic planner and NGOs’ coordinator Dr Ngoo Seong Boon said the steps to sign up could be simplified to three steps.
“First is to sign up, book an appointment and then consult your doctor via phone calls or video calls.”
Also present were Pgcare Alliance chairman Phee Boon Poh, vice-chairman Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, committee members Datuk Seri Leslie Lee Kim Guan, Chong Soon Kheng and Datuk Ooi Eng Hock.
Those in need of virtual care and telehealth service can book an appointment via https://www.doctortouch.com/pgcare
On Aug 11, the state government alongside several NGOs, industry players and professionals formed the PgCare Alliance to provide support to those affected by the pandemic.
Through PgCare Alliance, aid and resources can be channelled quickly based on four focal services — mental health, jobs, food and basic necessities as well as financial needs.