The phrase “there is only 1 doctor for every 25 000 people” seems like the opening to a post-apocalyptic horror movie but this is a reality in Uganda,
With that amount of people and a short supply of qualified medical professionals it’s no surprise that many Ugandans can’t access reliable medical information or advice.
This is why The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG) is trying to make things easier for medical professionals and doctors alike.
Enter the TMCG and its novel approach to the African mobile computing revolution by providing healthcare and advice to those that need it.
The firm took a look at the medical situation and tapped into something most Africans have in their pockets, a mobile phone, and worked around that to find a solution to the problems the nation is facing.
The solution? A free call centre has been set up by the firm which gives patients access to doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals 24/7.
According to TMCG, the call centre fields both calls and text messages, WhatsApp messages and even inquiries made through Facebook, the latter being one of the most popular points of first contact.
Once a patient has made contact with the call centre, a medical professional is able to offer reliable medical advice to them and point them in the direction of a specialist or another doctor to receive a more accurate diagnosis.
On the technical side of things the call centre can handle 8 000 voice calls a day and as many SMSes, email, video chats and social media interactions the staff can handle.
The service has proved so popular that it garnered the attention of users outside of Uganda in countries such as Kenya and Nigerian where the service has recently been made available.
It’s a novel approach to a distinctly African problem and with TMCG aiming to expand to other parts of Africa it might not be too long before we’re all contacting a doctor via Facebook instead of having to wait in a queue for hours only to find out we have a head cold.[Source – TMCG]