A TEAM of medical doctors can expect to have up to an annual count of 5million consultations through a text message service that aims to improve mobile medical health services.
And with 13,000 subscribers registered with the text message service Doctor SMS, those facing limitations in accessing doctors and medical personnel are expected to be among the greatest beneficiaries of the national program.
Vodafone ATH Foundation executive Ambalika Kutty said in statement, the Dr SMS project would improve access to health care resources by making available authentic information, offer timely information on medical and advisory facilities, provide informational alerts about emerging diseases and respond to disaster risk management.
The program was launched in Nadi last week.
"One other service that Dr SMS aims to provide is the post surgery care of Vodafone ATH Foundation programs such as sight first and eye projects. Dr SMS project will be covered by the general disclaimer clause neither holding the foundation nor the content partner liable for misdiagnosis and mistreatment," she said.
Ms Kutty said the text platform for this service was offered for free by Vodafone.
With some 20 doctors from the Fiji Medical Council and Fiji College of General Practitioners, the turnaround time of 24 hours has been identified for doctors' to respond to the various medical cases queried via the text service.
For face to face consultation, doctors will provide referrals to nearest medical facility.
Vodafone ATH Foundation chairman Lionel Yee said the aim of Dr SMS was to reach out to the poor, remote and the vulnerable that were not able to access doctors and medical personnel.
Mr Yee said the Dr SMS project would be used to monitor the difference to the mortality age band, as research indicated that deaths in Fiji were highest between the age of 35 and 55 years.