FOR every 1600 patients in the country, there is one doctor.
This makes it impossible for everyone to see a doctor on time when the need arises, Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation said as it launched its Doctor SMS mobile health project in Nadi last week.
But with the new Dr SMS project, offered through Vodafone text services, a team of 20 doctors from the Fiji College of General Practitioners and the Fiji Medical Council will offer medical advice and medical references for subscribers, foundation executive Ambalika Devi said.
According to a statement issued by the foundation, the Dr SMS platform will enable customers to register and communicate with the medical practitioners of over health and wellbeing issues.
Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation trustee Divik Deo said developing community solutions to address health and social issues could only be identified through grassroots and charity organisations.
The Dr SMS project will provide comprehensive information on health related resources through text messages, the foundation said.
Vodafone users can access the message service by dialling *979# on their mobile phone to register personal details.
"This facility allows our doctors to advise more people on health related crisis to address unmet medical needs and humanitarian crisis," it said.
Ms Devi said users would, upon registration, be required to provide details like family medical history and lifestyle patterns and agree to allow doctors to use the history to provide health advisory.
Once registered, the user's mobile number will become the patient card number, Vodafone Fiji senior engineer Praneel Singh said at the launch.
"So when the doctor clicks on patient mobile number, the patient's history is displayed which helps the doctor to provide advice," Mr Singh said.