KARACHI - Pakistan Medical Association in association with Phonecast (Pvt) Ltd is going to set up Pakistans first 24-hour Medical Call Centre with the name of 'Call Doc to facilitate the people by providing telephone based health information. Initially, the facility covers Karachi and other parts of Sindh and would be started within two weeks, and will be introduced in other parts of the country soon. Through this service anyone having access to a landline or a cellular phone will able to get first level medical support, as well as caller will also be able to get access to the local area PMA doctor in his/her residential location. Talking to The Nation here on Tuesday, Secretary-General PMA Dr Habib-ur-Rehman Soomro, he said that under the said project PMA would provide academic, technical and medical related assistance to run the system, while the Phonecast would provide the technology. This facility will really help the people who are not aware about the health-related problems. CEO Phonecast Abdullah Butt told The Nation that PMA had signed up with Phonecast, a PSEB registered Call Handling Company, to establish Pakistans first 24/7 medical services call centre. This call centre will provide live first level medical support to nationwide callers with 5 million PTCL landline connections and 75 million mobile connections. PMA will be providing its national network of specialists for getting referrals from Call Centre. All callers will get special discounts and priority appointments once they are referred from 'Call Doc. There are services of health in a specific area of health like internal medicines, cancer, HIV and chest diseases or one can say the most highlighted diseases. But our service would not highlight a specific area but will focus on the health as a whole. This is not the only thing we are offering, we are also creating a link between the patient and the doctor from early diagnosis till the treatment plans are discussed. Butt said: Phonecast is Pakistans leading company in call centre and customer service related offerings and is having more than 75 per cent market share of Pakistans electronic media groups as well as serving leading business schools and consumer products. Through this Phonecast, call centre in Pakistan will receive calls from UAE via Asterik server, of approximately 150,000 Pakistani clients of the insurance company who have signed with us. Next year Phonecast is going to have this capacity increased to 350,000 Pakistanis from another client. This call centre is monitored and manned by doctors from Pakistan Medical Association, he added. Abdullah said that Medical Call Centres connect patients via phone, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, to the health information they seek. When patients, seeking medical assistance, call a Medical Call Centre, they will typically hear a custom greeting designed for the organisation. The caller will have the option of being connecting to the audio health library or speaking immediately with a registered nurse. If the caller selects to talk with a nurse, the nurse works through the patients symptoms and recommends an appropriate course of action. In our system, 90 per cent of all calls are answered by a nurse within 20 seconds of going into the call queue. With proprietary software, triage nurses have all the patients recent call history and their doctor and coverage information on their fingertips. Members will know immediately if their visit to a provider will be covered by their insurance because callers are matched against the systems knowledge base of health plan requirements. For the actual triage process, the nurse uses medical algorithms that serve as a guide for appropriate management for the situation at hand. This could mean telling the patient to go to the emergency room immediately, helping the patient in self-care, or recommending an appointment with the appropriate medical provider. If the patient is told to go to the emergency room, a record of the patients call is immediately sent to the ER to expedite the emergency care process. If a doctors visit is suggested, the nurse will tell the patient how soon he will visit the doctor, and the patients call record is transferred directly to the doctors office.