Econet wades deeper into health care with new Dial-a-Doctor service

Nigel Gambanga Avatar


We recently got wind of a new service that Econet is set to release through its Econet Health arm. The service is called Dial-a Doctor and it is still going through it’s pilot run.

The Dial-a-Doctor service hasn’t been opened up to the public because of some regulatory concerns that need to be ironed out, but the contact line, 147 is already active.

We managed to access the service when we were given information regarding its existence. A connection on this 147 number welcomes you to Econet Health Advisory Services courtesy of an automated response that will direct you to the appropriate assistance.

Access is currently free and if a subscriber manages to get through they will be assisted by a registered medical practitioner. Once its fully operational it will act as a premium rated call service, which places a higher tariff on calls made on a particular number because of services being offered.

Once again this comes as a technology transfer initiative from Econet. A dial in service for medical diagnosis and medical information delivery has been launched in other markets before. Just recently in September this year Airtel Nigeria launched both Dial-a-Doctor and a maternal service called Mobile Midwife.

This is set to be the latest service being introduced by Econet as it maintains the momentum on its campaign to introduce a new product every fortnight. All this is driven by a thirst for revenue diversification as the operator braces for changes in the telecoms business model.

We have now seen the mobile network trying its hand in various industries and services that include car tracking, water purification and more detailed iterations of existing service lines such as EcoSchool and Econet Health itself.

The last product in line with health delivery were the Ebola Alerts that were an extension of the Econet Health tips service.

Econet has also thrown its full support behind the fight against Ebola with efforts on a continental scale that have been led by Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa. Econet’s involvement in health services also extends to Steward Health which is the medical aid entity¬†acquired last month from former Econet Chairman and TN Bank founder Tawanda Nyambirai.

What are your thoughts on this new dial-a-doctor service?


  1. Ini

    Waiting for the usual complaints that they should stick to their core business…..

  2. SoTypMe

    They should stick to their core business

  3. Observer

    EcoWhat ? Next

  4. health watcher

    this service has potential legal headaches as doctor services can not be advertised according to the current law in Zimbabwe (look up Medical and Dental practitioners council of Zimbabwe website). beside making a diagnosis without examining a patient is unethical.

  5. Anonymous

    A company cannot be everything and anything to the market. A company should clearly decided what it will do and what it will not do. Companies that have pursued growth just growth’s sake have lived to regret it. Do only what you know best Econet!

    1. Anonymous

      I disagree, bruru, allow Econet to do what they can, if you yourself can do the same please go ahead, we still have need for several ICT products like that and there is plenty of room for any invention in Zimbabwe or Africa whichever takes your fancy

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