New phone app that could reduce ED wait times
IMAGINE if you could see a real doctor, right now using just your phone?
A new app has launched allowing people to organise appointments within minutes to see a qualified, practising GP in Australia.
Patients can log in, request an appointment and minutes later be on a video call with a doctor.
For residents in regional towns like Gladstone - where a lack of general medical services GPs are often booked out - it's proving an invaluable service for patients in need of new scripts, medical certificates or general advice on minor health issues.
The app, called Instant Consult, was the brain child of Travis and Bianca Brown and is already being used by hundreds of Australians in remote and regional areas.
Across Queensland telehealth services have almost quadrupled since 2013 and Queensland Health already has video conferencing systems available in more than 200 hospitals and facilities.
Travis and Bianca Brown hope Instant Consult will not only improve access to basic health services for regional communities, but reduce the increasing burden on emergency departments.
"Emergency departments are treating non-life threatening symptoms such as gastro, headaches and fever - that can instead be assessed by a GP,” Ms Brown said.
"Instant Consult can enable Aussies to receive a medical diagnosis in their own home, reducing the strain on our emergency rooms.”
Rohan Lal is one of the GPs available for appointments via Instant Consult. Dr Lal is based in Sydney and has experience delivering healthcare to patients within the New South Wales prison system.
He says Instant Consult offers a valuable way for people to access medical services to assess the severity of their condition - and be directed to further help if needed.
Patients can expect to pay $35 for a brief consultation and at least $65 for appointments lasting more than 20 minutes.
But you will need to cough up the full amount as video consultations are not covered by Medicare.