At the end of March, Patricia Dube she was feeling unwell and worried that her tight chest was a symptom of COVID-19. Fortunately, a friend of hers had heard of the partnership between Discovery and Vodacom, offering all South Africans free access to COVID-19 online doctor consultations.
“I didn’t want to go to a doctor’s rooms and risk exposing others to COVID-19,” says 24-year old Patricia, who lives in Gauteng. Patricia does not belong to a medical scheme.
“I downloaded the Discovery DrConnect app and set up an appointment for the same day at 18:00, with a doctor on the list of those who were available for online consultations. That evening, I logged on and the doctor and I communicated via text messages on the app. There is an option to choose a text or video consultation and I chose text as I felt more comfortable that way.”
The doctor asked Patricia about her symptoms and concluded it was unlikely she had contracted COVID-19. “She prescribed some medicine and said that if that didn’t help to seek further medical care. I was very relieved I did not have COVID-19. I later ended up going to hospital and they diagnosed me with anxiety. I felt so anxious about the news and COVID-19 pandemic and how it would affect my health and ability to find work. I finished studying construction management and quantity surveying last year. I was meant to graduate in May and that was put on hold due to lockdown.”
“I would definitely recommend DrConnect to other people. The fact that I could access DrConnect and medical help for free meant a lot to me, as my funds are limited. So many people feel COVID-19-related anxiety at this time and it helps to have a doctor give you the right advice when you need it.”
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.