“Watch out for another COVID wave as we have already started seeing an increasing trend,” warns Dr. Saira Siddique – CEO and Founder of mediQ: Smart Healthcare Services.
Running Pakistan’s first virtual hospital in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Dr. Saira believes in delivering quality healthcare at the doorsteps of each citizen with convenience, accessibility, cost reduction, and customization.
There is nothing hidden in the fact that Pakistan has suffered from a crippled medical infrastructure. The public sector health facilities are overstretched and below par compared to any intentional standards, leaving the private sector to become the only major player and quality health services provider around the country.
A lack of quality health services and an exponential increase in the prices of medicines and facilities have been the most bitter realities of the coronavirus pandemic here in Pakistan.
Dr. Saira is the brain behind mediQ: Smart Healthcare, with a vision to transform the current health infrastructure through the country’s first virtual hospital providing a complete range of healthcare services through a digital platform developed by bringing multiple sectors including health-tech, fin-tech, and health service providers.
mediQ provides aggregation of all healthcare services into a single touchpoint through Mobile and web applications supported by a 24/7 hotline which is manned by doctors who guide the customers.
The services range from doctor and specialist visits, nursing care, elderly care, critical care, chronic patient care, laboratory tests and imaging services, critical care services, dialysis, maternal and child health services, pharmacy services, physiotherapy to rehabilitative services at home.
This all is possible through a strong technology backbone and expert pool of medical and paramedical staff with portable imaging and treatment medical devices.
How well has the concept of at-home healthcare been received by the people during the pandemic?
With the expert pool of more than 60 medical specialists and general practitioners, about 100 nursing staff, attendants, and technicians, mediQ’s virtual hospital successfully treated 374 patients at home during the COVID spike after Eid-ul-Azha.
Dr. Saira believes that non-critical patients don’t need to visit the hospital exposing them to unnecessary risk of catching other diseases unless they are declared critical. Most of the services including COVID treatment of non-critical patients can be provided to patients within the comfort of their home at affordable rates.
“There is no need to be fearful of this disease but patients need the right healthcare professionals to take care of them. We must be careful not to have unnecessary hospital visits to save and protect the people around us,” Dr. Saira shares. “This is especially important in cases where there are family members with low immunity that could be potentially at a higher risk of catching the infection,” she adds.
MediQ Smart Healthcare is taking the concept of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” literally and providing top-quality health services at home to patients.
More than 90% of the diseases can be treated at home without the need for a patient going or getting admitted to a hospital. Dr. Saira believes that instead of investing in the traditional model of brick-and-mortar structures of hospitals.
If resources are used for the development of a strong technology infrastructure and quality of supply-side, especially human resources for health, there will be a paradigm shift in the way healthcare services are delivered. Instead of a “facility/hospital-centered approach” there is a need for a “patient-centered approach”.
“This concept is widely used in many other parts of the world with great success. “Instead of a patient visiting the hospital, let the hospital come to the patient,” says Dr. Saira. After the successful launch and provision of healthcare services to the citizens of twin cities, mediQ: Smart Healthcare plans to expand to other cities.