Med­i­cal bills

Telemedicine is bound to change the way in which we will deal with our med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers in the fu­ture

CityPress - - Tenders -

Hello Doc­tor is a mo­bile health so­lu­tion that of­fers peo­ple di­rect and im­me­di­ate ac­cess to doc­tors for health ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion. Sim­ply down­load the app on your phone and you can use it 24/7. It’s free if you are a mem­ber of any of Hello Doc­tor’s part­ners, in­clud­ing: Mo­men­tum Health med­i­cal aid, Metropoli­tan, Metropoli­tan Well­ness, Med­imed, Medici and OCSACare. It’s also avail­able to you if you take out Mo­men­tum’s Myr­iad life in­sur­ance or sign up for Mo­men­tum’s Fund­sAtWork prod­ucts. Un­for­tu­nately, this ser­vice is not yet open to the pub­lic. When City Press sent a What­sApp mes­sage to the ser­vice it re­sponded: “Un­for­tu­nately, at this stage, our re­tail chan­nel is not yet up, but we are hop­ing to have it run­ning soon.” MEDICI

Medici is also a mes­sag­ing app, which has part­nered with Hello Doc­tor, and it en­ables users to com­mu­ni­cate vir­tu­ally with med­i­cal providers via text, call or video at any time. The av­er­age Medici con­sul­ta­tion will cost R200 but each provider will set their own con­sul­ta­tion rate so this could vary. Un­like other telemedicine com­pa­nies, Medici al­lows you to con­sult with your own doc­tor. But if your own doc­tor is not avail­able you can con­sult one from the Hello Doc­tor ser­vice.

“Hav­ing a health con­cern is frus­trat­ing as it is and Medici makes what is usu­ally a very stress­ful and costly ex­pe­ri­ence, easy and af­ford­able,” says Clin­ton Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici. MEDIGO

Medigo sup­ports in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions look­ing for lead­ing med­i­cal providers around the world. The costs of con­sul­ta­tions vary and are de­pen­dent on your lo­ca­tion, con­di­tion and the physi­cian be­ing con­sulted. Through this plat­form you can re­quest sec­ond opin­ions and sched­ule med­i­cal treat­ment abroad. It has a net­work of 900 hos­pi­tals in 36 coun­tries and a ded­i­cated 24/7 pa­tient care team. Ask­ing for a sec­ond opin­ion could save you money. Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by the Mayo Clinic in 2014, in up to 62% of cases a sec­ond med­i­cal opin­ion will yield a change in di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment or prog­no­sis. “Sec­ond opin­ions are a use­ful tool in sit­u­a­tions where pa­tients are con­fronted with treat­ment rec­om­men­da­tions, such as ma­jor sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tions, that will have a sig­nif­i­cant (health and fi­nan­cial) im­pact on their lives and it is not clear to the pa­tient if there still might be al­ter­na­tive op­tions,” says Medigo.

If you think telemedicine is right for you, check with your in­sur­ance provider and med­i­cal scheme to find out if they have part­nered with any of the above plat­forms. Oth­er­wise find out if your med­i­cal scheme, as in the case of Dis­cov­ery, en­ables you to talk to your med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner through a video call app or other vir­tual means.

Telemedicine is bound to change the way in which we will deal with our med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers in the fu­ture. But for now it’s sadly not go­ing to pro­vide us with ev­ery­thing we need, mostly be­cause of re­sis­tance and scep­ti­cism from reg­u­la­tors.

Back in 2013, the Health Pro­fes­sions Coun­cil of SA (HPCSA) warned health­care prac­ti­tion­ers and the pub­lic not to make use of Hello Doc­tor “or any other act of un­eth­i­cal telemedicine”. The CEO and reg­is­trar of the HPCSA at the time, Dr Buy­iswa Mjamba-Mat­shoba, raised con­cerns over “busi­ness models that clearly con­tra­vene the HPCSA’s eth­i­cal rules and dis­cour­age face-to-face con­sul­ta­tions be­tween the pa­tient and prac­ti­tioner”. So gen­er­ally, telemedicine plat­forms will pro­vide guid­ance or coach­ing but when it comes to a se­ri­ous di­ag­no­sis that re­quires a phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion, you’ll have to see your doc­tor face to face.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.