With the current global pandemic in full swing, many healthcare providers have introduced telehealth visits, as opposed to the more traditional healthcare appointment, wherein one physically attends the surgery and sees the doctor face-to-face. These visits can be very beneficial when shielding people from the SARS-CoV-19 virus and can save you time and money. They do, of course, come with their disadvantages, but on the whole, are a great idea, and a great solution to the current pandemic.
This page will hope to tell you what a telehealth visit is, how they can be of benefit to you, and how you can get one. You may already know all of this, as they have been used for a while now, but even so, continue reading, as you may find out things that you didn’t know!
What is considered a telehealth visit, how do I get one, and what are their advantages? Let’s find out, shall we?
Telehealth has become very popular in recent months because of the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic. Doctors surgeries have become hotbeds for viral transmission, and because of this, doctor’s surgeries are suggesting that rather than a physical appointment, that they should call or video call you to discuss your problems. This means you do not have to have any physical contact with anybody and means you will not have to risk viral transmission. And not only do telehealth appointments protect you, but according to the medical specialists of myhealth1st.com.au/health-hub/articles/what-is-telehealth/, they protect GP’s and nurses, too. GPs and nurses are able to work from home, meaning they can continue working and limiting their exposure to the virus, thus allowing everybody to see a doctor without there being a strain on the surgery. Telehealth appointments will be with us for a while, so it is best we get used to them now.
Many wonder when dealing with telehealth appointments whether they will still be able to see their usual doctor. The answer to this is, usually, yes. Of course, if your doctor has been taken sick or left the employment of your surgery, you cannot see them, but providing this is not the case, you should have no problem with seeing your doctor, and should be able to see them. We build relationships with our doctors, and it is an important part of the GP-patient service. Surgeries do not want to destroy these relationships, as it is crucial to their surgery’s success.
Telehealth appointments are ordinarily booked for issues that are considered non-serious. Of course, some issues simply cannot be dealt with over a phone call or through video chat. Telehealth appointments are, therefore, not always necessary, nor what you will be guaranteed to get. Here are a few reasons for telehealth appointments.
- Coughs and colds:
- The flu;
- Headaches and nausea;
- Minor injuries;
All of the aforementioned are reasons you may have to see a virtual physician, as opposed to a physical physician. These are problems easily diagnosed and treated over the phone.
There are times, though, where a virtual appointment will not suffice. Because of that, most GP surgeries are running reduced clinics, with only one or two regular doctors attending the surgery physically. Physical appointments are only for things that are serious, and you will not get one for a cold or flu. Equally, if you have a fever, you may not even be allowed into the building. Physical appointments will continue for problems such as; serious injuries; chest pains; striking headaches; serious infections; lumps or sores. You will have to wear a mask to prevent viral transmission, however.
For a telehealth appointment, you may need no more than a phone or a laptop. If you have neither, you may be required to borrow a phone from somebody in your household, or another household. Telehealth appointments require a video if there is a wound that needs to be shown to the doctor, but otherwise, this is not required, and you can do it verbally over the phone. You may be issued a prescription, in which case you will have to attend your pharmacy, as you would if you were to see the doctor physically.
In the United Kingdom, telehealth visits cost nothing [courtesy of the NHS]. In other countries, this may not be the case, and you may be required to pay. The cost of a telehealth appointment varies entirely on how much your GP charges, and is a different price in surgeries throughout the world.
With the help of this page, you should know more or less everything there is to know about telehealth appointments. They are a great asset and of great benefit for many reasons. This page should hopefully have explained why!