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Digital GP's: Doctor Shortages

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

With the rise of digital, has come many day to day benefits. The constant innovations in the digital world has left us to think: What could be next?

One of the industries (or services) which has benefitted greatly from the innovations in recent years, is the National Health Service. Digital aiding the NHS has been a topic of conversation for a while, helping not only hospitals with treating patients, but also local GP's.

Booking appointments have become much more convenient, where you can use an application to set a same-day appointment, rather than being put on hold for several minutes to find out there are no appointments available. Many GP's have also opted for a touch screen check-in system, where patients can simply input some information such as date of birth and name to confirm their appointment, upon their arrival.

Providing consultations via text or video sits well in today’s digital age, where video interviews and confirmation via text are becoming increasingly popular. However, this is very convenient for those who may be located at a far distance, whether it be patient or doctor, meaning a video consultation would be suitable for both parties. Also, for those who may not be as mobile and find it difficult to get to the hospital or surgery, through injury, may find it easier to have digital appointments.

Although there has been much success with digital aid, digital firms may have to focus on providing their service with areas which suffer with area shortages of doctors. Many villages have complained about the loss of their surgeries, following a crisis around the country. Leaders of the British Medical Association warned that “shameful” shortages of GPs have left family doctors managing a dangerous workload.

There is now a demand to make sure that virtual services are now being carried out to see more virtual appointments help patients with video consultations. However, firms are also being encouraged to set up local practices to provide a service to those who wish to be seen face to face.

Health secretary, Matt Hancock, has gone on record saying every patient should be offered smartphone consultations, as part of NHS “digital first” initiative.


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