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Undercover Investigation Exposes Risks Of Online Medical Certificates

Could convenient online medical services be the solution for those urgently requiring doctor’s notes or medical certificates for sick leave at work?

Currently, online services are providing authentic medical certificates based on patients simply completing an online form.

However, concerns are growing, with some worrying whether these services can appropriately diagnose underlying health issues without face-to-face or more comprehensive examination. 

On today’s second part of The Briefing’s exclusive three-part special investigation into the risky new frontier of Australia’s healthcare system, the team went undercover and exposed the potential danger of online medical services that you need to know.

As part of the investigation, the team ordered medical certificates from 10 different Australian companies, stating symptoms that should have prompted the doctor to follow up. 

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Among these online appointments, seven doctors gave us medical certificates and nothing else. Only one of the doctors told us to go to the hospital.

Chief Medical Officer and interim CEO of the Heart Foundation, Garry Jennings, said: “It’s difficult not to describe this something along the lines as junk medicine.”

Dr Nicole Higgins, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said the business model was “very dangerous”.

“What they did was assess what the patient had put on the form,” she said.

“It’s dangerous, it doesn’t comply with current standards.”

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