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What is Online Doctor Consultation and can we get it for free?

Online doctor consultation, or what we simply call ‘online doctor’, has never been such widely adopted before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Just like schools and banks going virtual, the Filipinos can now secure professional medical advice without leaving home and visiting high-risk areas like the clinics – What if you get worse on your way to the hospital, looking for a cure for the common cold but get infected with Coronavirus instead? If you are wondering what an online doctor consultation provides and where you can consult an online doctor for free, keep reading and you’ll find out!

What is online doctor consultation?

Online doctor consultation allows you to consult, get diagnosed or treated by a doctor remotely through live chat, text enquiry, face-to-face video conference, or phone call with minimal to no physical contact. Other than the general medical consultation, some online platforms are also able to connect you with experts on specialties like dermatology, dentistry and sexology to get your health concerns clarified.

What happens during the consultation?

Live chat and query allow you to submit questions to doctor through inputting text and uploading documents. If you favor a phone or face-to-face video call with a specific doctor, you may book an appointment with your preferred timeslots. Be prepared to share your medical history and important facts that your doctor needs to know. List down your symptoms in advance to maximize the consultation call. Regardless of the connection method you select, you are usually able to follow up your health issue with the same doctor after the first session.

How much does an online doctor consultation cost?

Consulting a doctor through texting online is a relatively affordable option. It is usually charged per query or packaged as 50-100 hour plan where you will have unlimited access to query within the subscribed time. On the other hand, audio and video consultations commonly last about 15-20 minutes, costing around PHP 500-700 in general.

What are the benefits of online doctor consultation?

What makes people take the first step to try out this revolution way of reaching a doctor? If you are one of the cases below, consulting a doctor online may be one good option for you:

 

  • In need of instant prescription. Online doctor consultation is available anytime and anywhere. For people looking for instant prescription to get medicine or referral to a specialist, online doctors may be the best option to get what you need right away. E-prescriptions may also be helpful for you to apply sick leave from your employer if you take the time to rest at home.
  • Unable to travel. With online doctor consultation, you no longer need to travel in and out to look for the suitable treatment. If travelling could lead to intensification of your medical issue, be it sickness or physical injury, why not talk to a doctor online and get the answer you need immediately?
  • Geographical constraint. If you’re looking to consult a reputable doctor whose clinic is not located in your region, check if he or she can be reached online too. This may save your time and money to travel.
  • Frequent check up. Early detection, catch issues early. Save time save money. If your situation requires frequent check up with the doctor, online doctor consultation may be an option with lower cost and higher flexibility on your schedule.
  • About to make important medical decisions. Fighting serious illness is uneasy and it is completely understandable that you may feel lost. When being asked to make decisions that are critical to your situation, consulting professionals online for a second advice could help you in making informed decisions with a better sense of secureness.
  • In times like now. As COVID-19 continues to hit the globe, people are advised not to venture outside unless necessary. Online doctor consultation can be done at home, hence reducing chances of infection during travel and visiting high-risk area like the hospital.

 

Online doctor consultation could be an alternative, or even more preferred option in so many cases. Nevertheless, we should be careful when trying out this new form of digital service. As you may be requested to share your personal information or even medical report on the site, make sure the service provider is credible, read the privacy policy carefully how your information will be stored and used before signing up.

Can I get an online doctor consultation for free?

If you haven’t noticed yet, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has launched their very own online nationwide medical consultation platform, namely DOCPH, to help Filipinos combat COVID-19 remotely through Facebook chat. But if you are looking for private telehealth providers that offers more diverse and flexible choices in terms of consultation methods and doctors’ profiles, some insurance companies do offer free sign-ups of telehealth solution for their customers. Keep an eye on the limited offers, or have a chat with our agent!

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