The Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) will collaborate with telemedicine app eZConsult as the digital platform for its remote consultation initiative dubbed Family and Community Engagement through Telehealth Service (FACETS). FACETS is a free consultation service geared towards serving residents of local communities who are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms but have not yet consulted a medical professional.

Under the programme, PAFP will partner with local government units to provide low-income communities access to healthcare. Volunteer PAFP doctors will give free consultations through the eZConsult platform to patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

“FACETS is the PAFP’s response to the pandemic,” said PFAP president Dr. Maria Victoria Concepcion P. Cruz, “Family Physicians are the first point of contact to a significant population of patients. As such, we play an essential role in the fight against diseases including COVID-19.”

PFAP, the specialty organization of Family Medicine specialists, is one of the largest medical specialty organizations under the umbrella of the Philippine Medical Association with more than 7,000 members across the country. Their members include primary care physicians dedicated to providing holistic, accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective health care.

Through FACETS, the PFAP aims to proactively respond to medical needs of the community by helping to address the ongoing threat of COVID-19, which is in line with the academy’s long-term commitment to empower Filipinos with reliable access to efficient universal healthcare.

“Because of the pandemic, the world has seen the importance of telemedicine as a tool to provide quality, affordable, on-demand healthcare while protecting the safety of both patients and providers, not only for COVID-19 patients, but also for those with other illnesses,” said Dr. Cruz.

According to Dr. Cruz, eZConsult will provide Family Physicians with an end-to-end solution – from initial online consultations to the start of treatment and monitoring and nearly everything in between. Patients on the other hand can easily connect with healthcare providers without leaving their homes, whether it is to book consultations, get e-prescriptions and medical certificates, or schedule laboratory tests.

“We are honored that PFAP has chosen eZConsult for its telehealth project,” said Kidit Afable, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Zuellig Pharma Philippines, which developed the virtual care app. “eZConsult was co-created with doctors and patients to deliver a seamless solution that allows simple, secure and safe access to healthcare. This ensures that we mitigate exposure to and reduce the spread of COVID-19 as far as possible,” he added.

Available in both iOS and Android, the eZConsult mobile app has integrated retail pharmacy partners, laboratories, and fintech companies that can provide advice, support and services to both doctors and patients through the platform.