Malaysia-founded private healthcare provider Columbia Asia Hospital group, which operates 13 medical facilities in Malaysia, has launched a telehealth service in which patients can get the care that they need from their doctor via video call, receive medical advice and/or clinical management as well as drug prescriptions, at their own location and convenience.
This service utilizes a full digital platform via Malaysian telehealth provider DoctorOnCall that links Columbia Asia’s patients with their doctors. For those who have had surgeries at their respective Columbia Asia hospital, follow-up appointments can be carried out via this telehealth service, whenever appropriate.
A broad scope of medical specialists from Columbia Asia hospitals have onboarded this telehealth platform. Medicine will be delivered free of charge for medication costing more than RM50 within a 20km radius from each respective Columbia Asia Hospital.
THE LARGER TREND
Private healthcare providers in the Southeast Asia region have been pushing telemedicine services given the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, either through their internally developed apps or partnering with telehealth companies in the case of Columbia Asia.
Singapore’s Healthway Medical Group recently onboarded all of its 47 GP clinics on their proprietary teleconsult app, and will integrate it specialist clinics into the app in the upcoming months, Healthcare IT News reported.
In May, IHH Healthcare, Asia’s largest privately owned healthcare group, rolled out telemedicine services in Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, India and Hong Kong. In Malaysia, IHH patients can book virtual consultations with doctors at 11 Pantai Hospitals and 4 Gleneagles Hospitals.
ON THE RECORD
“In this new norm, where social distancing is a wise and safe practice, the conscious effort to minimize public movement and unnecessary close contacts can serve the patient well. We believe an enhanced telehealthcare system offers real convenience for our patients whilst meeting their healthcare needs in this present pandemic environment,” said Kelvin Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd.
“Some people are worried about visiting hospitals but a platform such as this will put their anxieties to rest as there will be no more delays in treatment and medicine prescriptions. This will be significantly beneficial to the elderly and high-risk patients.”