Getting a doctor’s appointment can be a real nightmare, so the thought of getting your problems addressed from the comfort of your own home may seem like a dream come true, but is it really as good as it sounds?
In a recent article for Men’s Health Forum, Lloydspharmacy’s online doctor Dr Tom Brett made a good point – we are happy to use the internet to sort out almost every aspect of our lives, from our personal finances to our holidays to everyday purchases, so why should it seem strange to use the net to get answers to our health issues too? Dr Brett also insisted that using the internet in this way doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the personal touch either.
Who would use an online doctor?
An online doctor service is a great resource for anyone who is too busy to take time out to visit a doctor’s surgery, or indeed for anyone who would prefer not to speak about their concern face to face with a doctor. In 2009, a study by the Future Foundation found that 48 per cent of the people they asked were interested in receiving an online diagnosis. As far as online prescriptions were concerned, 56 per cent of people were interested. As Men’s Health Forum observed, it is generally recognised that men don’t pay their doctors regular visits, so an online doctor service could be just what they need to ensure they do address any issues.
What can you use it for?
The online doctor service may be particularly popular with people suffering from problems that could cause embarrassment to them, such as erectile dysfunction or if they need STI testing kits. However, all sorts of other conditions and needs can be addressed, such as travel vaccinations and asthma.
It is important to note that online doctor services are not meant to replace GPs altogether. You will need to pay for the online service, but it can be extremely convenient too. As you should keep your GP in the loop about any medicines you take or any conditions you have, online doctors can let them know of any treatment you receive, with your consent of course.
How does it work?
Here’s a quick guide to how the online doctor service works at Lloydspharmacy.
You register by going to their site, then, after you’ve chosen the service you want, you just answer some questions to establish exactly what you want to address. Next, a GMC registered doctor based in the UK will review your answers.
You pay for your treatment by credit or debit card, so it’s quick and convenient. You can pick up your prescribed medicines at a Lloydspharmacy or get them delivered.
Who can you trust?
All pharmacies are required to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. This registration ensures only genuine medicines are given out to patients and all the information given out is accurate.
Beware of websites that are not regulated as they could supply you with fake medicines that could even be toxic.
So, if you are too busy to make a doctor’s appointment, or just want the anonymity of not having a face-to-face consultation, the online doctor service could be a safe, easy and effective way to deal with your healthcare concerns.
This post has been sponsored by Lloyds Pharmacy.