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8 Reasons to Consult with a Medical Professional Online

Teleconsultations or virtual doctor’s appointments are a growing healthcare trend that has made it infinitely easier for physicians and their patients to connect with each other and discuss health issues without having to physically be in the same room. It has become especially vital in a post-COVID-19 Philippines, where movement continues to be limited and visiting your practitioner’s clinic or hospital is not a viable option for a variety of reasons.

Despite their convenience and efficiency, though, online consultations are not always the best choice for every situation. To help you determine if it is for you, here are 8 reasons to consult with a medical professional online.

Reason #1 – Your Case Isn’t Urgent

Online doctor’s appointments typically have to be scheduled and coordinated in advance, and you can’t really get someone to see you on-demand. It is decidedly not the correct option for emergency situations, for individuals who need to see someone about an illness or disease urgently, or for patients seeing a doctor for the first time about something serious that requires immediate attention. Common, non-life-threatening ailments such as a recurring cold or urinary tract infection, however, are okay. Allergies, eye and ear infections, or skin problems are also all easy to diagnose and can be brought to your physician through an online consult.

Reason #2 – Traveling to Your Doctor’s Office Is Difficult

The situation in the Philippines with regard to COVID-19 is still constantly developing. The pandemic has led to significant changes to people’s mobility. For example, public transportation services are allowed but on a limited capacity, and in certain areas, LGUs continue to enforce strict entry requirements. Unless you have a vehicle of your own, a visit to your doctor’s office can be terribly inconvenient. Getting to a clinic can also be a problem if you suffer from mobility issues. With telehealth visits, your doctor is instantly more accessible.

Reason #3 – You’re Dealing with a Mental Health Issue

Taking care of your mental health is one of the most important tenets of self-care. Not only do online appointments with your therapist or psychiatrist help in removing barriers to treating conditions such as depression and anxiety, they also allow you to keep up with your appointments even if you’re unable to leave your home for whatever reason.

Reason #4 – You’re Worried about the Risk of Infection

One of the biggest concerns that people have today is the risk of infection, especially from the coronavirus. With no vaccine or cure to the coronavirus in the immediate horizon, the best thing for all of us to do is to stay at home, practice proper social distancing, and do everything we can to minimize the spread of infection, such as wearing masks, washing our hands frequently, and switching to contactless modes of payment when we make purchases outdoors. If you are a high-risk individual—someone who has a pre-existing condition or a senior citizen—you may want to consider opting for teleconsultations rather than risk being infected at a hospital or clinic.

Reason #5 – You Don’t Have Time

It can be difficult to find time for a doctor’s appointment when you’re juggling a lot of things at once or simply have too much on your plate. With online doctor’s appointments, you can have a quick face-to-face meeting with your practitioner, minus the time spent on the commute going to the clinic, on waiting for your turn, and on the return trip home. You can schedule your consultation at a date and time that’s convenient for you. This leaves you with more time to do other things that you need and love.

Reason #6 – You’re Out of Town

Those with recurring or existing conditions no longer need to keep themselves tethered at home and close to their physicians with telemedicine. Should you experience symptoms or any health issues while you’re away, you can simply book an online appointment with your doctor. It’s a far more convenient and efficient option than consulting with another practitioner who doesn’t have instant access to your medical history and records.

Reason #7 – You Don’t Know If You Need to Go in or Not

Only in the rarest cases do mild symptoms ever turn out to be serious enough to merit an in-person consult. You can save yourself the time and bother by opting for an online doctor’s appointment instead of seeing your physician every time you don’t feel well. Doing this also allows you to rest more instead of overextending your body, which can make your symptoms worse.

Reason #8 – You Just Need a Prescription

Do you have a pre-existing condition that is being managed or treated with prescription medication? If the only reason why you see your doctor regularly is to have that prescription filled, you might want to look into online appointments instead. In most cases, barring medications that require an in-person examination with your practitioner, prescriptions for maintenance medication can be filled and sent online. By law, drug stores are required to accept them, so you don’t have to worry about showing to your local drug store with a print out or even a digital copy.

These are only a few of the reasons why you might wish to consult with your medical professional online instead of in person. Telemedicine and virtual consultations may very well be the future of healthcare, and you can benefit a lot from embracing them early.