Mobile network operator in Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless, seem to be going through some registration problems with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) regarding the launch of their mobile phone health services, Dial-a-Doc.
According to reports, from The Sunday Mail, trouble apparently started when the mobile operator officially launched the service and the medical regulatory bodies in Zimbabwe got wind of it and consequently declared it illegal.
“Every form of medical practice has to be approved by the council, ‘something that Econet reportedly didn’t do’ and any unlicensed service that requires medical expertise is illegal”, MDPCZ.
Econet provided the service in partnership with Ponai Medical Centre to offer the citizens access advisory messages from doctors over their phones. USc 70/minute is charged by the mobile network operator for the service.
Furthermore the report quoted the Registrar for MDPCZ, Mrs Josephine Mwakutuya as saying that: “This is to ensure that the public is protected from, among other things, incompetent, unprofessional or unethical medical advice…Medical practitioners are required to register as provided for by section 99 of the health professions Act; Chapter 27:19. In both letter and email dated December 12, 2014, the council wrote to the chief operations manager offering advice that its proposed Dial-A-Doc practice is medically unprofessional and also illegal”.