MOH introduces online appointments to encourage social distancing

Dzamira Dzafri
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 2, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The Director-General of Health Malaysia Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated in a Facebook post that the Health Ministry (MOH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four online health services companies for their "Online Appointment" and "Webinar for Covid-19" initiatives.

The four online health services involved for “Online Appointment” sessions are Queuemed, EncoreMed, Bookdoc and Doctoroncall. This is to lessen the volume of patients at clinics to encourage social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you’re feeling unwell, you can use this service first. Not only that it saves time, but it also helps to reduce the spread of infection by reducing your stay at the clinic.

To make an “Online Appointment”, patients are advised to visit the MOH Online Portal, but the portal itself isn’t clear to mention where patients can book an appointment.

However, you can instead visit one of the four mentioned health services online and choose their chosen time slot to book an appointment with the MOH health clinics. The slot time choices for the system are from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

After visiting each online health service sites, we found that only BookDoc and Doctoroncall were the ones that you can easily look for an appointment with a doctor or a specialist so far. The other two services still look like they cater more towards healthcare professionals.

You can currently use both BookDoc and Doctoroncall to book an appointment with a doctor or specialist. — SoyaCincau pic

Noor Hisham Abdullah mentioned: “Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic where social distancing needs to be practiced, it is expected that the implementation of this system can help overcome the long waiting times at the health clinics.”

He also posted about the ‘Webinar for Covid-19’ initiative, where the MOH worked with BookDoc to project the latest health-based information relating to the pandemic.

The Webinar’ video sessions are seen either scheduled or put as past sessions. The videos are streamed through Twitch, and they feature public health specialists and MOH medical officers to help answer web-based question-and-answer sessions.

The Webinar video site where you can video their ‘Webinar’ sessions. — SoyaCincau pic

You can watch their previous videos on their Twitch site here. The live video sessions are from 2pm to 2.30pm from Monday to Friday. — SoyaCincau

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