With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the benefits of receiving your medical treatment via an online doctor are even more pronounced then usual. With people constrained to their homes during periods of economic and social lockdown, sometimes telehealth services are your only option. However, even when conventional medical centres are open and fully functional, seeing a virtual general practitioner possesses a wide range of benefits. Not convinced? Well, let’s see if the following reasons don’t convince you.
The main benefit of seeing an online doctor is the convenience. Long gone are the days when you had no choice but to see your local GP whenever you were sick or in need of a referral or a prescription. In fact, with the rise of internet medical platforms, patients are no longer beholden to seeing a medical professional in person. Instead of having to organise transport to and from their local medical practice, patients can simply log onto a platform, schedule an appointment at a time that is convenient for them and then make sure they are available when the GP rings through. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to better maximise your time.
Another advantage of consulting with an online doctor is the financial aspect. When telehealth services were slowly being phased in the early 2000s, they were largely uncompetitive when it came to cost. Most patients couldn’t afford to pay for telehealth appointments in 15-minute instalments, so the services were mainly directed at people who were isolated and wealthy enough to afford it. However, many online doctor platforms now offer bulkbilling options, along with being covered by Medicare. This means more Australians have access to telehealth medical services than ever before. Likewise, patients can now save money because of lower transportation costs (less fuel, lower public transport costs).
While some patients might be dubious about the quality of their video consultations, you’ll be relieved to know that the quality is not compromised in any capacity. In Australia, telehealth providers are heavily regulated to ensure that professional standards are upheld and met. For example, all online doctors need to have the necessary qualifications and credible experience in order to be able to provide medical advice.
Security and confidentiality
Furthermore, online doctor consultations are incredibly secure and confidential. If you are concerned about the security of your private medical conversations with your GP, make sure you read the privacy statement listed on their website. It will outline what processes that platform has in place to ascertain that your information remains confidential.
As we’ve seen with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic afflicting the world, social distancing measures have had a significant impact in reducing the rate of infection when it comes to incredibly contagious sicknesses like COVID-19. Seeing an online doctor when you are unwell means you don’t have to leave your home or use public transport. Put simply, it drastically reduces the likelihood of contagious diseases spreading rapidly throughout the general population. This means more people are safe and healthy when health pandemics arise and spread.
Thus, there are clearly many great reasons why you should consider seeing an online doctor. Naturally, there are certain medical consultations where face-to-face interaction is crucial. Physical examinations should still be the responsibility of your local GP in-person. However, there are certain medical processes that can be streamlined via internet medical platforms, like getting a referral or organising a medical certificate when you are too sick to go to work or school. Likewise, being able to refill your prescriptions without visiting your GP in person is also a big bonus.