Yesterday we had an unpleasant task ahead of us: We needed to renew Richard's prescriptions, and not having found a doctor yet (and with no walk-in clinic in town), we thought our only option was the emergency room of the hospital. Anybody who works in a hospital knows that the emergency room does not exist for stuff like that. Its purpose is to provide care for real emergency cases, and having to take away valuable time from truly sick patients for a prescription made me cringe inside.
But, like I said, aside from driving 4+ hours to our old doctor in North Vancouver, I thought that we didn't have a choice.
Luckily, I thought wrong.
The nice receptionist at the hospital told us that the local pharmacist knows of an online service that offers, amongst other services, prescriptions. She couldn't remember the name of the website, but referred us to the pharmacy. Since they are located only minutes away from the hospital, we drove straight over.
There, we learnt about Medeo.
It's a virtual care platform where you get an online appointment with a doctor. All you need is a computer, tablet, or phone with a camera, since you will be face-timing with the doctor.
Upon signing up, you can request a visit. You will have to type in your symptoms, for how long you had them, and what medications you take.
Then you wait for one of their receptionists to contact you, which in our case took less than 5 minutes. We were sitting in a pub, having lunch and a beer - best doctor's office waiting room I have ever been to!
The receptionist asks a few more questions, and then gives you an appointment time with a doctor: sometimes right away, or on the same day. They send you a reminder per email, and all you have to do is click on the link approximately 10 minutes before the appointed time. Voila!
Our doctor chatted with Rich, and then faxed the prescription straight to the pharmacy. Easy peasy!
I absolutely, fricking love this service. There is a shortage of GPs in our area, and many people come to the emergency department because they think they have no choice. Walk-in clinics are busy and require to take time off work, which is something not everybody is able to do.
Medeo is the perfect compromise. While the service doesn't replace seeing a doctor in person, it is perfect if you need a requisition for blood work, a test ordered, or, like in our case, a prescription renewed. In BC the service is covered by MSP and is therefore free; if you don't have health coverage, or live in another province, the flat rate is $49.00.
Another great service offered by Medeo is help with mental health issues. Having depression myself, I know firsthand how difficult it is to seek help. If you feel well, you don't think you need it; and if you don't, you can't muster the energy to leave the house to see a doctor. Well, now you don't have to - you can talk to one from the safety of your bed!
For more questions, check out their FAQ section.