Healthpoint managing pharmacist Martinique Aprile prepares to offer the new service.
Healthpoint managing pharmacist Martinique Aprile prepares to offer the new service. Lee Constable

Pharmacy offers "telemedicine" for quick access to GP

THE inconvenience caused by lost or forgotten scripts for regular medications could well be a thing of the past due to a new "telemedicine" option on offer at Healthpoint Day & Night pharmacy from today.

However managing pharmacist Martinique Aprile stressed the Pharmacy Link telemedicine kiosk did not replace your GP.

"Basically it's only for really simple requests, so if a patient has lost their prescription, or if they're from out of town, travelling through, and have forgotten their medication or their script," Ms Aprile said.

"This service allows them to come into the pharmacy and we can dial them in via the internet. They can chat to one of the GPs, get a script printed out and come straight over and get it dispensed."

Measurements such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels can also be taken by trained Healthpoint pharmacists during the consultation.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Christian Rowan believes it is a good thing, providing the right checks and balances are in place.

"We've heard of the concept but haven't seen it implemented yet," Dr Rowan said.

"Telemedicine is certainly an enabler for connecting people together, but there would be a limited number of services that can be provided.

"This won't replace face-to-face consultations but in the broader field there will be more of this in the future, and it would be good to do an evaluation of this over time."

The service will only be offered at Healthpoint Day & Night in Sydney St, but it will be available whenever the pharmacy is open, 8am- 9pm every day. The cost of the consultation is time-based, with a five-minute consultation costing $25.

There is no Medicare rebate for the service, but Ms Aprile said this was being looked at by the government.

She said the service, now widely available in NSW and Victoria, would also reduce reliance on after-hours emergency departments for a range of common medical issues.

TELEMEDICINE

  •  For simple scripts
  •  Available via the internet through Healthpoint Day & Night, Sydney St
  •  $25 for five minutes

Is a video consultation with a doctor a good idea?

This poll ended on 23 August 2013.

Current Results

Yes

88%

No

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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