The healthcare system in the Philippines has long faced issues with its services, insurance, and overall management. Inaccessibility, corruption, and high prices are just some of the problems that Filipinos have been dealing with over the past decades— hence “Bawal magkasakit ang mahirap,” became a thing.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more issues surfaced about the country’s healthcare system, mostly with regards to facilities, manpower, and assistance. Hospitals have run out of space and equipment for patients, health workers are overworked, and healthcare is still inaccessible to the most vulnerable groups in our society. (Read: How do you eat healthy while in quarantine? We asked a nutritionist-dietician!)
This is why it came as good news to many when the Office of the Vice President (OVP) announced their newest initiative on Facebook: Bayanihan E-Konsulta.
The public can message the page from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily regarding their health concerns, and medical workers will be replying to it. Users on free data may also check out the platform, and everything is entirely free! Here is how to use it:
Step 1: Find ‘Bayanihan E-Konsulta’ on Facebook
For you to access the page and be able to message them, you have to first log in to your Facebook account. After doing so, just search ‘Bayanihan E-Konsulta‘ and it should appear as a result. Click on the page.
Step 2: Click on ‘Send Message’
On the top of the page (upper right when using a desktop or laptop), there is a blue button that says “Send Message,” which you will click on to open a conversation with the page. When the conversation pops up, click “Get Started.”
Step 3: Type in ‘Konsulta’ or ‘Tulong’
A prompt will appear asking you to reply “Konsulta” or “Tulong.” Once you reply to the message, another prompt will appear asking if you would like to consult one of their volunteer doctors. Click on “Oo” to proceed.
Step 4: Answer the Questions
After clicking “Oo,” a set of questions regarding the patient will need to be answered. The person messaging the page has to answer as honestly as possible so that appropriate help could be provided. Answering “Oo” to the first question would mean an emergency situation, answering “Hindi” sends you more questions to identify the patient’s current situation.
Step 5: Click on ‘Pumapayag Ako’
Because of the Data Privacy Act, the OVP and their volunteer doctors must ask for consent from anyone before asking for their personal information. If you agree to them processing these info, click on “Pumapayag ako.” Once you’re done, just wait for a text or call from any of their volunteers for you to consult properly.