Digital Doctors

Visiting a traditional GP in Ireland is an expensive and time consuming business.  A new Amarach survey commissioned by Irish online GP service VideoDoc shows that over two thirds of Irish adults visit a GP each year. The average spend per person per year on GP visits is €171 with one in five spending in excess of €250.

In an effort to reduce medical bills, over half of Irish people google their symptoms in the hope of avoiding GP costs, and this behaviour is more common among females than males.  

Many of these GP visits are for straightforward matters like repeat prescriptions or cold and flu symptoms and 51% of all Irish adults are confident that they already know what medical assistance they will get before going into their GP.  This number rises to 56% for those aged 55 and over.

“The VideoDoc online GP service is a premium service that revolves around the patients’ needs while keeping costs as low as €20 a visit.  VideoDoc is available to the patient where they need it be it work, college or home, and when they need it, 14 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Mary O’Brien, CEO VideoDoc.  

The survey also examined other costs and inconveniences involved in seeing the GP including absence from work, childcare and transport.   

Those that need to take time off work to visit their GP estimate that they spend 6 hours on average doing so.  Employees aged 25 - 34 are slightly above this average. Only 15% of the population have a GP surgery located within one kilometre of their work or college and the average distance from work to the GP is 15 kms. Nationwide, the GP is on average 7km from a person’s household

The median transport cost getting to and from the traditional GP surgery is about €32, with residents in Leinster reporting the highest transport costs. 

Parents who need to visit the GP incur further costs with the average cost of childcare resulting from GP visits being €50. Childcare costs are highest in Leinster.

According to the data collected in the VideoDoc survey, waiting times to see a GP and opening hours are issues for the general public with 4 in 10 Irish adults agreeing the average waiting time to see a GP is too long and 57% of people have needed a GP outside of traditional surgery hours (9-5).  Just over half of those who have needed a GP outside of office hours have needed to do so in the past 6 months.

49% of the population feel they have a poor experience in the GP’s waiting room with those under 44 most likely to have a poor experience.

“These survey findings show that people can often find the traditional GP service inconvenient and expensive.  Our experience of general practice is that about 70% of all GP visits can be treated online. VideoDoc offers a service  where patients can simply log on from wherever they are and be treated within minutes” ,said Mary O’Brien, CEO VideoDoc.

The survey was commissioned to mark the launch of the new VideoDoc subscription service. 

All VideoDoc GPs are Irish Medical Council registered with at least two years service on the Specialist Register and have been fully trained to provide remote health services. 

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