Online Doctor Consultation - talk to a GP online
Can you really get the quality of care and help you need on the Internet?
I have been accused of having 'Googlitis' a condition that seems to affect many of us these days, especially those of us with health anxieties. Googlitis (as coined by my A+E nurse cousin) simply categorises those of us who turn to Google at the slightest funny feeling! Usually to come away convinced we have a rare and deadly disease - 'because the internet says so'.
But can this turning to the Internet for medical advice ever be a good thing? I think yes and no. Sadly the Internet is unregulated and as such for every great site out there, there will be bad sites too, and even when you find a good site, some information really is best coming from someone who knows you and your individual condition, not simply seeing you as a statistic based on 'symptoms'.
However, there is a service offered by Pharmacy2U that has come to our attention, one that is regulated, based here in the UK and approved by the NHS. It's an online doctor's service in which you can explain your symptoms and get advice from a qualified UK registered doctor, who can prescribe medicines, even order tests and aftercare, and have these provisions made in your absence - the prescription will be dispatched and come straight to your door.
An online GP - a step forward, or a step back?
Normally we would be wary of a more 'impersonal' approach to medicine, but having looked into this thoroughly they have an excellent record, fantastic credentials (even a member of the Care Quality Commission) and have great reviews from over 13,600 satisfied customers on trust pilot.
Now there are a variety of conditions they cover and specialise in and not all conditions are covered, and we kind of like this approach, as things like quitting smoking, repeat prescriptions and period pain, are probably easier to treat without seeing the patient than a lump in the breast that must obviously be personally examined!
The real benefit we think will be in the treatment of things like erectile dysfunction and getting the morning after pill, perhaps things that one finds embarrassing or when we would shy away from our own GP. It may be easier to have an online consultation with a 'stranger' who can advise and prescribe, than to see someone you know, and it is certainly so much better than living with a condition without seeking help!
Online pharmacies and a bad name
When we started looking into partnerships at Mental Healthy we wanted to really believe in what we were showcasing, we have turned down many advertisers we did not believe in through our own ethical standards we want to see reflected in services we share with our readers.
Online pharmaceuticals was an obvious category match for a 'health and wellbeing' site, but having seen so many bad reports about the sort of sites that deal in medicines, we stayed completely clear of these. It is only in the last couple of years that sites like Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots and Pharmacy2U have actually shown that the real, reputable trusted and regulated pharmacies can tap into the online market AND provide a service people are obviously crying out for.
We will be advocating the Pharmacy2U service around the site, hoping that people looking for online medical help, advice and pharmaceuticals are directed to the right place from a trusted source. We do not in any way recommend you replace your GP with an online consultant, but there certainly is a place for this service and we do recommend the site to our readers.
Let us know your thoughts and reviews if you use the service.