Julian Mulder is based in the Eastern Cape. When he developed a possible symptom of COVID-19, he was able to access an online doctor consultation with GP Dr Grant Bekker, who is based in KwaZulu-Natal. He did this using DrConnect on the Discovery website.
“I first heard that Discovery and Vodacom had partnered to offer free COVID-19 online doctor consultations through Discovery DrConnect through a My Broadband article published in early April,” says Julian Mulder. Julian works in the IT industry, and currently works from home in Knysna.”
“A week or so before that, I had flown between Johannesburg and George for work. I sat next to a passenger who seemed to have just travelled to South Africa from Europe where the spread of COVID-19 was advanced compared to South Africa. Three days after getting back home, I developed a sore throat that lasted about four days. I wasn’t sure whether I could have COVID-19. I accessed DrConnect through the Discovery website. I’m a Discovery Health Medical Scheme member so once I logged in, my details were populated on the system.”
Julian selected the voice-call option with one of the doctors on a list of available healthcare professionals on the website. “I put in a brief summary of my symptoms, chose between having a 15 or 30-minute consultation and then got a call from a GP, Dr Grant Bekker, who is based in Durban North.”
“I was surprised at how clear the audio was. We had a very good call. He considered my symptoms and asked me a few questions and concluded that I very likely had the common cold. However, he also gave me some information on how to self-isolate in case I did have COVID-19. At the time, I would not have qualified for COVID-19 testing. Mostly, I was worried for my grandmother who lives next door as I had visited her after returning from trip. Thankfully she remained healthy in the days to come.”
Julian’s COVID-19 test returns negative
Julian, his wife and their two-year-old daughter self-isolated together for more than 14 days. After this, Julian’s symptoms came and went, but his fever was never more than 37.1ºC. He eventually developed a dry cough and booked a telephonic consultation with a doctor in Knysna.
He adds: “Considering the time that had passed since I chatted with Dr Bekker, the second doctor prescribed antibiotics and also sent me for a COVID-19 test, which came back negative, so I needed to pay for my test myself. It turned out I did have the common cold. Dr Bekker had really guided me well.”
“DrConnect was excellent. I would use it again to get guidance on non-emergency medical issues.”
Benefits of online doctor consultations
Protect everyone’s health. Book a doctor consultation from your home. If you feel unwell or think you may have COVID-19, stay home.
Keep in mind:
- You can have the COVID-19 virus and give it to others before you feel sick.
- Booking an online consultation from your phone or computer on the website is a safe way to speak to a doctor – and it will also help your doctor to stay healthy.
The COVID-19 online doctor consultations platform makes it possible for South Africans to access a healthcare professional without having to travel to a healthcare facility.
Being able to connect people to healthcare through this virtual channel limits exposure to COVID-19 and; therefore, safeguards the health of our doctors and healthcare workers who are providing care to patients with COVID-19.
What the online healthcare platform is for and who qualifies for free consultations
The platform offers a dedicated COVID-19 information hub and consultation platform from a computer, laptop or smart device. You can access the service from both the Discovery and Vodacom websites.
This platform is specifically for screening and consultations for COVID-19. Discovery and Vodacom fund consultations for South Africans who are at high risk of COVID-19, and who urgently need to consult a healthcare professional. If you are not at high risk, a consultation with a doctor will not be recommended.
Read up on free COVID-19 Online Doctor Consultations available to all South Africans through the Vodacom and Discovery partnership.
Find out more about DrConnect and download the DrConnect app today.
All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to protect and empower all South Africans by promoting a better understanding of COVID-19.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused an outbreak of fatal respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. This is a completely new strain with no vaccines available. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
No country is immune to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus - officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak has reached pandemic proportions and been declared a global public health emergency.
As toddlers, we learnt to wash our hands. But, did we ever master the skill to the extent that is needed to wash pathogens off our hands, and save lives? Multiple studies show people don't wash their hands at the right times, in the right way or for the right amount of time. We contaminate the things and people we touch with the germs we carry on our hands.