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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) and the 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation, was signed on 24th April 2023. This was a renewal of the existing MoU and would further strengthen the collaboration between SLMA and 1990 Suwa Seriya, a spokesperson for SLMA told The Island.

Based on the MoU, SLMA will provide medical advisory service for COVID-19, or any other medical emergency situation that will affect the entire country, through Doc Call 247 patient helpline. The 247 services of the SLMA will provide telephonic triage and have the option of requesting 1990 Suwa Seriya to provide transport to necessary patients to hospitals, on information gathered from the phone conversation, initiated by the patient.

This partnership has served the nation at critical phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), in collaboration with 1990 Suwa Seriya, and SLT-Mobitel, introduced the Doc Call 247 COVID-19 Helpline, in August 2021, when the country was experiencing an unprecedentedly challenging number of patients, and when the healthcare system was reaching its tipping point. Since its inception, this initiative has completed more than 100,000 calls and contributed, in a significant way, to reduce the oversaturation of hospital bed occupancy and facilitated home-based-care management of patients.

Upon renewal of the MoU, the 247-helpline service will expand its scope of coverage, beyond COVID. This collaboration will be an immense benefit to the patients, especially during this crisis.

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