The doctor will see you… never. Issues with online referral services.


A referral is not just a mindless act. It requires proper thought and consideration – and the GP is the patient’s advocate in this. Sometimes we have to decline the request, sometimes re-direct it in another direction.

For a total stranger to do a referral via the Internet is plain and simply bad medicine. There is no other way to describe it

Doctor's bag

Source: qoctor.com.au

There are many benefits of online health services and they can complement traditional face-to-face GP visits. But there are also examples that raise questions.

The young womanwas in tears. Whenshe came in she had initially asked for a referral to asurgeon for a breast augmentation. During the conversationit turned out that her partner had made it clear her breasts were too small.

We ended up having a chat about relationships and body image. At the end of the consultation shedecided she needed some time to think things over and talk to good friends, and that she would come back if she needed further assistance.

The problem with online referrals

At first sight, the Qoctorwebsite seems an easy, convenient online medical service that provides sick certificates and referrals.

The site tells visitors: “(…) we understand that a well person who simply needs a letter to see a specialist should…

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