Feeling ill when abroad is always a worry, especially if language is a barrier. The first hurdle is arranging an appointment with a local doctor then visiting the surgery for the diagnosis. The condition may also require the prescription of medicines, which will have to be paid for.
For those minor illnesses (such as cystitis, ear infections, sore throats, back pain and toothache) that affect a high number of people when abroad, the process can be complicated, frustrating and in some cases, very expensive. Expats are most vulnerable as they have to integrate to a system that is alien to their experience and whilst it can be an improvement in some countries, it is often worse. Language barriers can make it difficult to receive treatment and lead to frustration, delays, and possibly inappropriate or even ineffective treatment through simple misunderstanding.
Go-Healthcare is a UK based GP service with a difference. Its ethos is to deliver excellence in healthcare in an easily accessible manner at a time that is convenient for the patient. Go-Healthcare works on a membership basis and offers telephone consultations (or via Skype or online chat) and medication in the most ethical and evidence-based manner, to provide 24 hours a day, seven day a week, healthcare support to UK nationals. It works along the same treatment guidelines as the NHS and to the highest standard of care.
Doctor Raymond Francis, Medical Director and MD of Go-Healthcare, is at the heart of this concept, having spent many years consulting with patients both in day time primary care and in the NHS out of hours system.
‘Many visits to a surgery relate to minor illnesses such as a sore throat, an infection or pain’ he says, ‘in the majority of cases, people could save time and money by receiving the same service over the telephone. A simple phone call is all it takes to get both the diagnosis and if necessary medication, with the reassurance that it is exactly what they are used to in the UK’.
‘The clinical rationale for Go-Healthcare is that patients often either don’t bother booking an appointment, at the risk of their condition getting worse, or end up taking extreme measures such as visiting a random walk in centre or their local Accident and Emergency department. Neither option is ideal but understandable from the patient’s perspective’ he adds.
The differential element of Go-Healthcare is the Go-Pax™ Medication Box. Go-Pax™ contains both over the counter medicine such as paracetamol and other pain killers (available from any pharmacy) and a selection of prescription-only medication such as antibiotics or antifungal creams, individually prescribed for each member and which will effectively treat many of the most common minor conditions and pain. Prescription medicines in the box are clearly labelled and can only be taken if expressly indicated to do so by a Go-Healthcare GP.
Go-Healthcare and Go-Pax™ work in tandem to provide this seamless access to both a GP and medication. When a prescription medication is used, it is replaced with a top up, free of charge each time. Go-Pax™ is therefore, always fully stocked and ready to use.
Stringent parameters and checks are in place to ensure patient safety and confidentiality; no medications in the Go-Pax™ Medication Box would be dangerous if taken by accident. Go-Healthcare GPs take a precautionary approach to prescribing and rigorously check for allergies, sensitivities and contraindications. They do not prescribe anything for which a face-to-face consultation is required or utilise medicines in a manner that could be addictive or misused, nor to treat chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes.
Go-Healthcare.co.uk is owned and operated by Go-Healthcare Limited and registered in Scotland SC309670 at Caledonian Exchange 19A, Canning Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH3 8HE under no Z2214382 for processing Personal Data in accordance with the provisions of the United Kingdom Data Protection Act 1998.
Medical advice is given by GPs licensed to practice medicine by the UK General Medical Council. Prescription Only medicine is dispensed in accordance with the best practice of and by pharmacists regulated by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and is supplied only from a registered pharmacy and in accordance with a prescription issued by a doctor.