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Dial-a-doctor service launch by Telstra

Dial-a-doctor service launch by Telstra
Photo: Dial-a-doctor service launch by Telstra
Telstra Health has launched a service to connect patients by phone or video to a doctor at any time of the day.

Australians at home and abroad can now consult a GP by phone or video through a new 24-hour-a-day 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 on Thursday.

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 face-to-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.

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