We will establish a call centre offering advice and instructions to all citizens of Macedonia in cases that don’t require emergency medical treatment (colds, fevers, headaches, etc.). At least 10 MDs and 10 nurses with previous work experience will find gainful employment here, providing care and medical advice on the basis of symptoms that people share over the phone. The advantage is that the service will be available 24 hours, during weekends, holidays and inclement weather. The medical staff will be trained to work with medical software where they input the age, symptoms and chronic conditions of the caller and then issue advice, recommend treatments and medicines which do not require prescription. This is particularly important with the correct use of medicines in mind, especially in times when drugs can be bought over the counter in petrol stations, for example. The hotline and the medical advice will be provided free of charge and all conversations will be electronically recorded without revealing the identity of the caller/patient. Relevant institution: Ministry of Health. Budget: 4,000,000 denars. Deadline: 2015
The project dubbed “Hello, doctor” was announced by the minister of health, Nikola Todorov, at a party rally during the parliamentary election campaign in Berovo on April 17, 2014.
“We plan on hiring a dozen doctors and nurses and making them available over the phone to the people of the Republic of Macedonia 24 hours a day. They will help when it comes to less than serious health conditions that don’t require a personal visit, especially if it is late at night or during the weekend. If the condition is not too serious, the doctor will be able to help, and if it is serious, the hotline staff will recommend an actual visit to a doctor’s office,” said Todorov, explaining that the system was used by many countries with good results.
Several months later, on September 15, newspaper articles announced that the “Hello, doctor” project had commenced.
The Government’s “Hello, doctor” project, set to start today, will allow citizens to seek medical advice regarding a particular health condition or symptom by calling the number 15-123. As health minister Nikola Todorov announced on Saturday, the project includes MD specialists with at least 10 years of work experience – compared to general practitioners in the emergency ambulance service – while some of the specialists are recently retired professionals.
With this in mind, the promise should be considered fulfilled.
- Source: Проверено – Изборна програма на ВМРО-ДПМНЕ (2014 – 2018) (Здравје во секој дом, здравје за секој граѓанин, стр. 311) [Retrieved: 25.01.2016]
- Source: Фокус (18.04.2014) Тодоров: Имаме проект „Ало докторе“ [Retrieved: 25.01.2016]
- Source: Јутјуб (17.04.2014) Митинг во Берово [Retrieved: 25.01.2016]
- А1 он (15.09.2014) Почнува проектот „Ало докторе“ [Retrieved: 25.01.2016]