Feature Primary Care

The private, online GP will see you now

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i823 (Published 12 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i823
  1. Ingrid Torjesen, freelance journalist, London, UK
  1. ingrid_torjesen{at}hotmail.com

Companies are offering remote consultations and more, as Ingrid Torjesen reports

Increasing numbers of general practitioners now offer virtual consultations. And several private companies, such as Dr Now, Dr Morton’s, and Babylon, now offer patients remote consultations for a fee, using computers, tablets, telephones, or smartphones.

Services provided by these companies vary but can include private drug prescriptions delivered to your door, diagnostic tests by post, and medical monitoring. Patients can access records related to their consultation through the companies’ websites. They either pay for a one-off consultation or pay a monthly subscription for access on demand. And companies are expanding to offer services to employers—and through the NHS.

Karen Morton, a gynaecologist and obstetrician, launched Dr Morton’s with John Wilkes, its chief executive, in April 2015.

“More and more of my patients were having trouble getting appointments with their GP,” she says. “A new type of health consumer is growing in the UK who is prepared …

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