A VIEW of Makati City at night from across the Pasig River in Guadalupe, taken in May, 2020. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE city government of Makati has tapped healthcare solution provider KonsultaMD to offer free online medical consultations to its employees and residents. 

The program will initially cover 10,787 city hall employees, the Makati City government announced on Friday.

The city government plans to expand the program to cover 144,943 residents this year.  The program aims to provide medical access to senior citizens, differently abled persons, bedridden patients, and those unable to visit healthcare facilities. 

“We will test our program with our employees in city hall, and then eventually we will open this up to our Yellow Card holders,” Makati City Mayor Mar-len Abigail S. Binay said during the partnership launch at the Makati City Hall.

“This is the solution to our shortage of doctors, and also to unburden our health centers,” she added.

 She also noted that this service works well with the city’s health centers and hospitals.

“We believe this partnership is a timely response for the growing demand for accessible and convenient and healthcare services,” Ms. Binay said.

“It can set a good example for other cities and organizations to follow, as we work together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.”

KonsultaMD is an affiliate of 917Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, Inc.

The partnership is the first KonsultaMD project for a local government unit in Metro Manila.

Ernest L. Cu, Globe group president and chief executive officer, said that digital technology opens the door for Filipinos to have more access to different services.

“One of the most pressing needs is access to healthcare. There is one doctor for every 30,000 people,” he said at the partnership launch. 

“It’s worse if you’re in the far-flung areas. However, we do have 4G coverage in over 99% of the population – so if you have 4G, you should be able to access teleconsultation,” he added. — Patricia B. Mirasol