Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Teleconsultations for all

Teleconsultations are the best access to general practice some patients have ever had

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 25 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3713
  1. Christine J Mimnagh, general practitioner
  1. Wingate Medical Centre, Liverpool L33 6YJ, UK
  1. Chris.Mimnagh{at}

F Scott Fitzgerald said: “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” The idea that teleconsultations are essential to general practice and the idea that face-to-face consultations are essential are not actually opposed.1

Six years of teleconsultations in my practice, where patients must speak to a doctor on the phone before having a face-to-face consultation, have enabled a huge increase in access, with more time spent face to face. I would hesitate to base any decisions about the future of general practice on experience solely based on the covid-19 pandemic or to suggest that teleconsultations are second best when for many patients they are the best access they have ever had to general practice.


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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