KARACHI: The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) introduced a telemedicine project named “PIMA Health Line” to provide health and medical consultation to people in their homes regarding the current scenario.
Coordinator of PIMA health line, Dr Atif Hafeez, said that the facility is being provided through telephone and WhatsApp initially. For this purpose, the PIMA has introduced three phone numbers people can call and seek medical advice from general practitioners 12 hours a day.
Dr Atif Hafeez said that they received an overwhelming response as hundreds of calls came in from people who could not visit the OPDs as most public hospitals were closed. The helpline is aimed at “keeping people at home” instead of going outside for minor health issues and ailments, which could be managed through telephonic advice, he added.
He said that in most cases, people need medical advice to adjust their doses. Doctors can consult patients on the phone instead of having patients visit the hospital. As for medication, they can be purchased from any pharmacy or medical store in the city.
So far, 42 consultants, including ENT specialists, pediatricians, gynecologists, general surgeons, neurologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, international medical experts, eye specialists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, and diabetologists associated with the PIMA have volunteered their services.
Praising the services of Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, a pioneer in telemedicine in Pakistan, who has developed telemedicine portals and facilities for several hospitals in Pakistan, Dr Hafeez maintained that even after the coronavirus epidemic is over, this initiative would remain relevant and help people seek medical advice by staying home.
People in need of medical advice can call on 0315-5550911 (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) 0316-6660912 (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm), and 0317-7770913 (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm) to seek medical advice.