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Hello Doctor service back in Delft

Minister of Health in the Western Cape NomaFrench Mbombo addressing guests during the re-launch of Hello Doctor at the Delft Community Centre. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Minister of Health in the Western Cape NomaFrench Mbombo addressing guests during the re-launch of Hello Doctor at the Delft Community Centre. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Cape Town - The Delft community now has access to free telehealth services at their fingertips, following the re-launch of the Hello Doctor service this week.

The re-launch of the service was marked at the Delft Community Health Centre by Momentum and Metropolitan, in partnership with the Western Cape Government and the Health Foundation.

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The project was established in 2019 but was halted by the pandemic.

Today it is available for patients at the Delft Community Health Centre and Symphony Way Clini,c which offers a two way approach in the day-to-day tele-triaging of patients at facilities as well as being a portal for information about Covid-19.

“The first entry for emergency in this area is (the Delft Community Health Centre), it is so busy so in addition to that, there is other services such as primary healthcare. So, people will always complain that there are long queues but what they don’t understand is that it is mostly the social ills that are happening outside that clog our health system,” Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said.

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“We do not have resources or money to employ people but where we have other innovations to reduce pressure from these emergencies, it makes it easier. With Hello Doctor, people do not have to come unnecessarily but instead they can dial the number from home.”

Margaret Lings, 68, said she would be delighted to skip the queues.

“My appointment is at 7am but I need to leave my house at 5:30am to make sure I get first in line, otherwise the later I arrive the later I will leave the day hospital. I need to see a doctor to get examined and then get my medication every three months, which is the same medication every time.

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“This Hello Doctor service will be a great benefit because for me to leave that early is dangerous because I walk to the day hospital. It is winter now and always dark when I leave,” said Lings.

Metropolitan Health group chief executive Kelly Manzini said the innovative technology behind the service took into account that approximately 38.8 million of South Africans have mobile phones, 25.5 million of which are smartphones.

“That just shows you there is a channel of access to deliver health care using technology and the tools we have in our pockets.

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“The Hello Doctor tele-triage service aims to alleviate the high influx of patients in our clinic today and make sure people do not have to sit in queues for hours and wait to see a doctor,” Manzini said.

Dial the toll free number *120*394# to request a call back by a health practitioner.

Cape Times

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