Customers struggling to get an appointment with a GP can now visit a US pharmacy chain’s virtual doctor.
Rite Aid staff escort patients to a private consultation room where they can log on to a website and chat with a doctor or nurse about their ailment or ask for a new prescription.
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People can also log on to the online service from home. The service, called NowClinic Online Care, costs $45 per visit with a doctor, while conversations with nurses are free.
Robert Thompson, executive vice president of Rite Aid, says the idea behind the virtual doctor is to address long waiting lists.
Since its launch in September, most of the patients seeking help are adults with ailments such as the flu, allergies, stomach aches, coughs, colds and sore throats.
In the future, Thompson says the program could expand into more specialised services. Why not set up a similar concept in Australia?
Anything that can reduce waiting lists is bound to be well received by the industry and patients alike.