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DHA's telemedicine service offers free 24x7 consultation to the public through direct visual and audio communication between the customer and the doctor. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ telemedicine service benefited more than 88,000 customers in 2020. This service was launched by DHA in 2019 to achieve Article Five of the Fifty-Year Charter, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The free 24x7 service provides the public with reliable and approved medical consultations through direct visual and audio communication between the customer and the doctor.

Effective service during peak of COVID-19

Dr Alia Mohammad Rafie, consultant, family physician and acting director of Specialised Programme Services Department at DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector, stressed the importance of the service, especially during the current unprecedented times globally due to COVID-19. She said that this service was in line with the efforts made by the authorities concerned in UAE to implement precautionary measures — including physical distancing and reducing gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Thousands avail free virtual consultations

She added that in 2020, more than 88,000 customers benefited from the free service, out of which, 82,000 received virtual medical consultations between January 2020 and January 2021. The service reduced average customer journey duration from 55 minutes to 11 minutes, which contributed towards achieving a high customer satisfaction rate.

She emphasised the importance of the ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ service, adding that DHA had employed the latest technologies and smart solutions to serve patients and ensure data management of information and medical reports. These were implemented in accordance with the highest levels of accuracy and privacy.

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She pointed out the active role that the initiative played during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it provided more than 7,000 telemedicine consultations to COVID-19 positive cases and more than 13,000 consultations for close contacts and suspected cases.

To book a consultation, a patient can download the DHA app or call the DHA toll free number 800342.