Deaf Covid-19 patients can now communicate with the Ministry of Health by text and email, instead of the phone

SINGAPORE – Covid-19 patients who are deaf or hard of hearing can now communicate with the Ministry of Health (MOH) via a short message service (SMS) or by email.

The Department of Health is calling Covid-19 patients by phone about their recovery plans, but the deaf community has indicated that speaking by phone is not an accessible option for them.

With the new measures, deaf patients can also consult a telemedicine provider via video or SMS function on WhatsApp and request a sign language interpreter if they need one.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Rahayu Mahzam, provided an update on Facebook on December 31.

She said: “Covid-19 has been difficult for all of us and I particularly sympathize with the deaf community which has faced challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

“I am grateful to those who gave their comments and ideas on the specific challenges encountered.”

Ms Rahayu said the Ministry of Health had partnered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Singaporean Association of the Deaf (SADeaf) to improve the management system for Covid-19 to enable people deaf or hard of hearing to recover more easily. residence.

In her Facebook post, she said people participating in the home recovery program or receiving a health risk warning can now text or email the Department of Health to make their needs known. communication.

A case manager will contact them via their preferred method of communication within 24 hours.

They also receive the Singapore Civil Defense Forces emergency contact number via SMS if they need emergency assistance.

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