VideoDoc announced its doctors will continue to provide consultations during the summer for Colleges Students who are members of the Union of Students Ireland (USI).
The free online consultation service will remain available outside the academic year and can be used while travelling across Europe and America. Prescriptions can also be obtained through videoDoc.
“It isn’t something that will replace going to the GP but it is another option for students that can’t afford to go and pay for a visit to their doctor. It’s also handy for those who are abroad and need prescriptions,” said Michael Kerrigan, USI President.
This USI initiative makes the service free for their student members. Others must pay a fee of €20 per consultation and €35 per subscription. UCD students, for example, must pay to use videoDoc as they are no longer members of the USI.
All doctors working with videoDoc are registered with the Irish Medical Council and have at least two years on the Specialist Register. Students are signing up at an “incredible rate,” said Kerrigan, however some would prefer to go to see a GP.
“Even when you go to the doctor in person you don’t always get an accurate check-up as seen in the cervical cancer scandal. So what would make you think someone who could potentially be on the other side of the world would give you an accurate reading?” said Sinead O’Farrell, a DCU student, while discussing whether she would use the service while she travelled abroad from Ireland.
Mental health issues can also be accessed while using videoDoc. Anxiety and depression are amongst the top 10 reasons people use the service.
Anxiety UK, a charity which provides support for people suffering from anxiety, stress and depression have partnered with videoDoc to develop an online therapy platform.
A Twitter poll that explicitly aimed itself at third level students showed that out of 22 votes:
- 27 per cent voted they would use videoDoc.
- 23 per cent voted they would not use the service.
- 50 per cent voted that they would use videoDoc depending on the symptoms they had which would require medical attention.
The videoDoc online doctor service is available from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.
By Cáit Caden