Dial- a- doc line launched

Townsville Bulletin - - CLASSIFIEDS -

AUS­TRALIANS at home and abroad can now con­sult a GP by phone or video through a new 24- hour- aday ser­vice launched by Tel­stra.

ReadyCare has em­ployed reg­is­tered Aus­tralian doc­tors to pro­vide ad­vice, treat­ment, di­ag­no­sis and pre­scrip­tions, Tel­stra Health’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Shane Solomon said yesterday.

Con­sul­ta­tions will cost $ 75.90 with no Medi­care re­bate, but call­ers will first speak to an as­sis­tant to de­ter­mine if the case is suit­able for a telemedicine con­sul­ta­tion.

The Royal Aus­tralian Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers broadly sup­ports tele­health ser­vices, says vice- pres­i­dent Mor­ton Rawlin.

But the col­lege was con­cerned about pos­si­ble frag­men­ta­tion of care for pa­tients, whose own GPs needed to be kept in the loop. He said the ser­vice may be very help­ful when it was dif­fi­cult to see your own GP, such as when trav­el­ling over­seas or in­ter­state. The col­lege would “watch this space” to en­sure that “qual­ity pro­cesses” were in place.

Mr Solomon said ReadyCare was in­tended to be com­ple­men­tary to, not a re­place­ment for, GP vis­its.

It’s based on tech­nol­ogy and pro­cesses used by Medgate, which Mr Solomon said was the lead­ing telemedicine provider in Europe, con­duct­ing more than 4300 con­sul­ta­tions daily.

“This will pro­vide choice and con­ve­nience for peo­ple to ac­cess a GP re­gard­less of their lo­ca­tion or the time of day, par­tic­u­larly in cir­cum­stances when they find it hard to ac­cess a faceto- face doc­tor,” he said.

“Pa­tients can talk with a GP us­ing phone or video, upload im­ages of their con­di­tion and re­ceive com­pre­hen­sive care.”

The long- term aim was for GPs to use telemedicine ser­vices to treat their own pa­tients, he said.

RE­MOTE DI­AG­NO­SIS: Tel­stra’s ReadyCare ser­vice pro­vides med­i­cal ac­cess any­where, any­time.

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