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Going on a sick leave in Singapore? Fret not, definitely no queues!

Getting sick away from home is a frightening dilemma which almost all expats, including myself as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) living and working in Singapore faced. Not unless you’ve got a really good health and travel insurance to cover up your medical expenses and if your company provides you with top-notched medical benefits, a paracetamol could cost you a Starbucks cappuccino price equivalent.

After 11 months months of working on this foreign land which now I call my own, this is my first time getting sick. I am unable to report to work because of headache, sore throat, muscle and joint pains. The company I worked for has a 14-day sick leave entitlement, so it’s time to put it to good use.

So, I took a sick leave.

MC as they call it here; MC because you got to present a Medical Certificate for your leave to be considered valid. This means that you got to consult a General Practitioner (GP). And tell you, going to the GP means you got to QUEUE. Perhaps, how the system is optimized here gets you all the convenience of life that even for an hour queue will get you pissed off.

Who loves queueing up right? Perhaps you do?

Singapore has never failed to amuse me, even healthcare system is simple, seamless and convenient.

The service is called Doctor Anywhere (DA). You can do a video call healthcare professionals for medical, aesthetics or newborn care and advice within minutes. And you can also get your medical certificate from the app also after the consultation.

It’s easy and simple. You just need to download the app and register. You need to fill in your personal information, add your payment methods for the service - credit card or DA Wallet, your Identification Card like NRIC or Passport details. Then voila! You are all set for a video consultation.

Here are a few questions that I have in mind that I was able to dig answers from them which might be helpful for you.

So how much does it cost?
General Practitioner (GP) - $20.00 per consultation
Medical Aesthetics - $20.00 per consultation
Newborn Consultation - $15.00 per consultation.

How to pay for the service?
Their platform accepts online payments via all major credit cards, including VISA and MasterCard.

What to preparing before the start of the video consultation?
Of course, ensure your payment option has been updated else you cannot proceed. :)
You need to verify your name and show your identification card to the doctor at the start of the consultation. If you have fever, better to get your temperature measured and monitored. For sore throat, pentorch or mobile phone with torchlight to illuminate and provide better visualization of the affected part. And any other equipment that you feel would be helpful for the consultation. Your doctors are not witches and fairies that can tell what you have if you don’t share what you are feeling.

An experienced and qualified doctor can still diagnose common non-urgent illnesses faced by the patien during a video consultation. They typically do so by assessing your history, current symptoms and by talking to you.

Many common illnesses and chronic conditions can be effectively treated through the video consultation. The list as approved by the Ministry of Health, Singapore Medical Association and the College of Family Physicians includes: Fever, cough, sore throat or laryngitis, diarrhoea and vomiting, flu or cold, sinusitis, skin rashes and other skin conditions, cold sores, headaches, giddiness or dizziness and red eye. Chronic conditions includes diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia.

For conditions that are not listed, the doctor will assess your history, current symptoms and any other available documents to determine if your condition is suitable for a video consultation.

If you are dying, have an accident and need to seek emergency service, duh! You don’t have time to do a video consultation don’t you? Go to the hospital immediately!

Does it get you a Medical Certificate?
Based on your consultation and diagnosis, yes, it does.
It is uploaded into the app in a PDF form, 5-10 minutes after your consultation.

So, where can you get your medications?
You have 2 options. Either the app has this DA Marketplace where you can purchase then have it free delivery. If you find it pricey then you have the option to get it yourself.

For myself, I went to the nearest pharmacy and end up buying loads of stuff, not related to what I needed. I could have just opted for the in-app purchase.

Is Doctor Anywhere legit?
I believe it is since they provided the service that I needed and based on background checks, they have a pretty solid website, a well built app, a reputable network and a list of General Practitioners. The medical certificate contains the clinic name, the medical certificate ID, the date of the consultation, the doctor name and even the doctor’s MCR number. The receipt issue has clinic and business information as well and has a UEN (which I cross validated and seems to be valid).

Would I recommend?
Certainly, 9 out of 10. The service is convenient and relatively cheaper than that of the physical clinic. No need to physically queue and consultation can be done at the comfort of your home. Especially sick then you don’t want to leave your room.

What they can improve on is that pace of the consultation. It seems a bit rush and as per stated, maximum of 10 minutes video consultation and mine lasted just for about 3 minutes. They need to be thorough on the checks. They should take time in their questioning and consultation, I feel like it was a rapid fire of questions and to do’s. Anyway the medication was sent over after so that has been covered. Well aside from that, then it should have been perfect.

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected Nor have been paid to endorse, write a review with the business and the application. I wish they can get me a free consultation next time.

1 comment:

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