From work to grocery shopping, many of our daily requirements have shifted to online platforms in the wake of Covid-19. Telemedicine, too, is becoming increasingly adopted by healthcare professionals and patients alike — offering consultations and health services remotely, with just as much accuracy.
What is telemedicine?
Simply put, telemedicine is a service that lets you see a doctor for selected medical conditions without the need to leave your home or step foot inside a clinic. With safe distancing measures to be maintained, telemedicine is proving to be a godsend as it eliminates the need to sit next to wheezing patients while waiting for your turn to see the doctor.
How does telemedicine work?
The service uses your mobile phone, tablet or laptop to connect with your doctor or specialist via text chat, voice call or video call. Once connected, you’re free to consult your medical practitioner and ask them questions, discuss your symptoms, show them that weird rash, and so on.
After the consultation, your doctor will prescribe any necessary medications, which will be delivered to your home or at a convenient pick-up location such as a clinic near you.
Is telemedicine safe?
Yes, absolutely. The project to provide telemedicine to the mass public is spearheaded by the Ministry of Health, and only registered healthcare practitioners are allowed to participate.
This means that only qualified healthcare professionals are allowed to provide consultations over telemedicine apps. You can expect similar standards of expertise and safety as in-clinic consultations, which is a huge plus point.
What conditions are suitable for telemedicine consultations?
Telemedicine is meant to provide a quick and convenient way to receive a medical diagnosis for common illnesses along with suitable medicines and a Medical Certificate (if required). These include:
- Cough and cold
- Sore throat
- Constipation and diarrhoea
- Skin irritation and rashes
- Headache and migraine
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Menstrual issues
- Gastric problem
- Cold sores
- Muscle aches
- Heel pain
- Conjunctivitis without visual disturbances
- Eyelid problems
- Well-controlled chronic illnesses that have already been routinely followed up
It’s a pretty exhaustive list, if you were to ask us. But do bear in mind that telemedicine is not suitable for emergency conditions, such as severe injuries, chest pains, dizziness, visual impairments, abdominal pain with fever, weakness in limbs, uncontrolled bleeding, etc.
When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact emergency services at 995, or make a visit to your nearest hospital.
Are telemedicine services in Singapore expensive?
Not really. We’ve researched seven different telemedicine providers in Singapore and found that consultation prices are comparable to clinic visits. However, there are additional charges for medicine delivery.
Here’s a quick comparison:
|Name||Platform||Type of Service||Consultations Offered||Consultation Cost||Operating Hours|
|Doctor World||App or website||Video-call||General practitioners||$18 for first 15 mins (includes delivery fee for medication)||24/7|
|Sata CommHealth||Chat or video call||General practitioners||$12 per consultation||Mon – Fri|
8.30am – 5pm
|WhiteCoat||App||Video-call||General practitioners, travel medication, specialist referrals, sexual health||Mon – Sat, 8am to 7.59pm: $25|
Mon – Sat, 8pm to 12am: $50
Sun and Public Holidays: $50
8am – 12am
|Doctor Anywhere||App||Video-call||General practitioners, Medical Aesthetics and Newborns||$20 for GP and Aesthetics, $15 for newborns||24/7 on-demand|
Appointments are also available
|MaNaDr||App||Text chat or video-call||General practitioners||Varies according to provider||24/7|
|HiDoc||App or website||Video-call||Specialist consultations in various disciplines||From $80 – $120 first consultation|
From $60 – $80 for follow-up
|Mon – Fri|
9am – 6pm
|Eu Yan Sang||Voice-call||TCM herbalists||Free||Everyday|
10am – 10pm
Read on to find out the details of each provider.