Request for Doctors to volunteer to participate in the COVID-19 Doctors on Call: Coronavirus Helpline – Supporting vulnerable communities
The Covid-19 Doctors on Call oversight committee is appealing to all South African registered doctors to please consider voluntary participation in the Covid-19 Doctors on Call Program. It is easy to register and participate.
What will you need to do?
- Register to participate by visiting – http://db.kznmcc.co.za/kzndhc/covid/register.php (2 mins)
- You will sign a consent form agreeing that you are in good clinical standing, will act ethically and professionally, will abide by the NICD training protocols and will capture all information on the Vula platform. (5mins)
- You will complete a short online training program on the clinical protocols of the NICD with respect to screening, diagnosis, and referral in relation to
Covid-19 (10 mins)
- You will be trained on the use and data capture on the Vula app (www.vulamobile.com)- (15-30mins)
- The above process can be completed within 1 hour
- The KZNDHC team will check your availability on a weekly basis and allocate a 1 hour slot to you per day per your availability
- Please make every attempt to honour the call roster and be available during your scheduled time
Benefits of participation – Every life saved counts
- Defeating this epidemic will require unprecedented support from all stakeholders in South Africa, particularly healthcare works
- Your support could help flatten the curve, save our health system from being overwhelmed, protect our economy and save lives.
- You will join a vibrant community of doctors – refer below for feedback from other volunteering doctors. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @doctorsoncallhelpline
- For more information you can contact Kamlesh Maharaj on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“During this challenging time in the history of human kind, it was quite natural for me to respond to this noble initiative to assist fellow South Africans whilst they stay at home to flatten the curve. It doesn’t rain forever , we shall go through this storm together, at the end Sizonqoba and we will admire the rainbow together again.”
— Dr Thabile Vezi, Soweto, Gauteng
“I feel honoured to form part of this group of volunteer doctors who came together almost overnight, from all corners of our country, to unite under rapidly evolving circumstances with a common goal. We want to offer credible information, advice and support to vulnerable communities who have limited access to medical advice and healthcare services. At the same time we hope to reduce the burden on healthcare facilities in our country, prevent unnecessary doctors and clinic visits, and collectively flatten the curve.”
— Dr Mathilda Mennan, Western Cape
The program was established by one of the largest doctor associations in South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition (KZNDHC), in partnership with Usizo Advisory Solutions and Vula.
We have currently negotiated with Independent Newspapers, GEMS, Nedbank and Discovery to come on board as strategic partners. The Covid-19 helpline is a national initiative, operating during the hours of 8am-5pm (Monday-Friday). We have over 450 doctors (across the country) who have kindly volunteered their time, to ensure that all South Africans are able to access information, get their questions answered and understand how to handle health risks associated with this frightening disease. Administered by a local call centre, all calls are received by a trained call centre agent, screened and then rooted to a doctor-on-call, for advice related to Covid-19. Callers only pay for a normal phone call and do not have to pay for the discussion with the doctor.
The doctor network receives prior training and provides advice according to the NICD guidelines. All calls are documented and reported on Vula Mobile App. A strict roster is coordinated and monitored, in order to assess demand and capacity requirements. Depending on demand and funding, the hours of service can be extended in the future, to include services after-hours and over weekends.
We have also been having discussions with government to ensure alignment and support of government initiatives. Engagements are also currently underway to explore how Doctors on Call can also support the 50 000 community healthcare workers, who the Department of Health are preparing to dispatch to do household visits in local communities. Doctors on Call have offered our services to the Department of Health, who require a second referral line manned by doctors, who can advise the community healthcare workers on complex questions, related to Covid-19 patients.