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doctoroo® prepares to ease the pain of accessing codeine-medications

To ease the pain, unfamiliarity and inconvenience of travelling to a GP for a codeine script, the Australian doctoroo® team is currently preparing an app that allows you to conveniently see your own or the first available GP on any device, anytime, anywhere in Australia.

What began as a simple telehealth solution to connect GP’s with busy, rural or immobile Aussies, has evolved over the past two years and will enable you to enter your pain symptoms and prescription requirements (including codeine) before a consultation, so the doctor can assess this before they have the video consultation with you.

The app actually aligns with the goals of the TGA and RACGP by allowing doctors to diagnose patients and offer the best pain management for their situation. GP’s may suggest codeine or an alternative pain management strategy - which helps to curb codeine addiction and misuse. doctoroo® founder, Christian Nehme, a medical scientist and previous pharmacy assistant, has seen too often the experience of patients with pain medication and the inconvenience travelling to a GP can sometimes be. “Seeing the frustration of patients, especially with the recent rescheduling of codeine, truly drives us to deliver a solution that makes pain that much less uncomfortable to deal with” said Mr Nehme.  

As opposed to other online doctor services, doctoroo® enables you, and actually encourages you to invite and see your own GP on the online platform. This means that you can book a consultation with your own GP wherever you are, and get an opinion from a doctor that knows you and that you trust. This again aligns with the goal of the RACGP, which encourages patient-doctor relationships. "It certainly would be very reasonable to have a longer-term relationship with your doctor and see them on a regular basis, to review your medication needs and make sure you are otherwise well," said Dr Bastian Seidel, president of the RACGP.

Regulation such as this requires time for the public to adjust to. This service makes it genuinely convenient for those who walk into a pharmacy and are not aware or forget about the requirement of a prescription for their codeine or other medication. From within the pharmacy, or in a nearby private space, the patient can see a GP and obtain the required script, without needing to waste time travelling to a GP or even potentially avoiding this altogether and not obtaining the required health care. The app is estimated to have waiting times of just 10-20 minutes during the day. In comparison, patients can wait hours to access a nearby GP and months to access a specialist pain program in clinics.

You’ll also be able to obtain medical certificates, referral letters and second opinions for most health issues. The service will be a privately-billed service, with consultations starting from as little as $15 for a few minutes, and is based on each GP’s minutely rate. With over 1,000 patients already signed up to the prelaunch, the doctoroo® team is aiming to make the app publicly available in the coming months.