Would you like an email consulation with your GP?
The Daily Mail is reporting on this idea with concern in Patients are told not to come to surgery, instead describe symptoms online. The paper reports on a pilot involving 6,000 patients with long-term illnesses such as heart failure and diabetes and a report by the think tank 2020Health, which, says the Mail 'has been seen by ministers, estimates that the NHS could save £1billion a year if those with certain long-term conditions are encouraged to manage their illness at home rather than visiting a GP several times a month'. The paper also reports the concerns of the BMA and the Patients Association.
The BMA believe it would be only a matter of time before a serious illness was missed. Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of its GP committee, said: ‘My worry is that the patient won’t realise the severity of their disease and neither will the doctor as it won’t have been conveyed in the message.'
But the preparation for this sort of thing is already being put in place online. The so far little-publicised Health Space inititive provides what the government call 'a free, secure online personal health organiser'. You can keep all your medical records online here and book and record appointments.
Some GPs already allow for online bookings and some even allow patients to email their doctors.
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Page created on January 24th, 2011
Page updated on January 25th, 2011