There are several online doctor services, such as qoctor.com.au, available in Australia these days. Want to try them out but feeling a bit nervous? Here are 5 common questions and concerns people may have about seeing a doctor online for the first time.
You’re afraid they are not genuine
This is a very reasonable worry. There are a lot of scams on the internet, as we all know. However, there is a growing number of genuine online doctors who offer great services, and it’d be a shame to miss out on these. If the doctor states they are fully registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) and can provide their registration number, you can be totally reassured. And it’s easy to go on to the AHPRA website to double check there, if you wish.
You are not used to talking about personal problems via a screen
This is common, but most of us use Skype, Viber or Facetime these days. Many people actually find their consultation with an online doctor much easier than they expected. And because it can be done from the comfort of your own home, in many ways it’s less stressful.
You are not sure what services are offered by an online doctor.
The services available from online doctors vary widely. When you google “online doctor” in Australia, quite a number of providers pop up. Some offer online consultations, others offer online prescriptions, referral letters or medical certificates for minor illnesses. Prices can vary quite widely too. So check out a few before you decide.
You’re afraid it will lack the human connection of seeing a doctor in person.
Again, this is an understandable concern. But all online doctors either have worked, or currently work, in regular clinics, and are usually very good at transferring their communication skills to the online consultation. Much like skyping a friend, you’ll probably soon forget that the conversation is happening via a screen!
You’ve never met this doctor before, it feels strange to meet online!
We all feel a little apprehensive before seeing a new doctor. It’s a very natural response! After all, within minutes of meeting, this person gets to ask you private and personal questions! But remember, most online doctors understand this, will be friendly and professional, and are likely to put you at your ease very early on.
The bottom line is this – check out the options, pick the online doctor that best suits your needs and budget, and simply give it a go. You’ll probably be very pleasantly surprised!