For most people out there, receiving medical treatment is a pretty straight forward process that simply takes a call to your GP to book an appointment and away you go. Then once you have been and prescribed with some medication, you are able to pick these up easily from your closest pharmacy. That was, of course, until the coronavirus pandemic hit the world and changed everything, including how people access healthcare.
As a result of the fear generated in the public by the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic , visits to GP surgeries are down by somewhere between 30 % and 40 % on this time last year. Many of those patients that did arrange appointments with their doctor opted for phone consultations rather than face to face meetings. Even though the number of people going to see their GP is going down, it does not mean that people have stopped getting ill.
Online Healthcare Market
This is where online clinics, came into play, in order to help fill this void. In 2016, it was estimated that the online pharmaceuticals industry was worth $33.06 billion globally. This is expected to increase to $38 billion by the year 2025. Although this may be a surprising fact to anyone reading those figures from the United Kingdom, but in the United States online pharmacies are very commonplace and used by everyone.
This market is rapidly increasing in the UK, with more and more companies providing prescription drugs direct to the consumer. Because of the effect that the coronavirus has had on online healthcare, this could very much be the future for the country.
State of the NHS
It is no surprise to anyone in the United Kingdom that the NHS is vastly overburdened, and that was before the coronavirus pandemic reared its ugly head. This often results in extended waiting times for patients, even just to receive a consultation with a medical professional, never mind to actually receive any sort of treatment. Whilst online clinics are not affordable for everyone to use, they can definitely do their part in helping take some of this burden.
With this being a novel technology, it is only to be expected then that some people may be wary of it, not knowing if they can completely trust the medical advice that they are given. In order to make sure that the online clinic that you are using is completely legitimate, there are a number of things that you can do. The first of these is looking out for the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) logo being displayed on their website.
Similarly, any website that provides consultation appointments with a medical professional needs to be registered to the Care Quality Commission, having this displayed on their website where everyone can easily see it. If the website that you are using does not have any of these things on and the prices that they are quoting seem a bit too good to be true then you should avoid them.