Wondering how to get a medical certificate without seeing a doctor? You’re not alone. Many people suffering from a minor illness find themselves asking this question- and it’s a pretty sensible question to ask! If you’re more or less sure of your diagnosis, and know that a doctor can’t do much for you (think the common cold, viral gastroenteritis, period pain, migraine, sinusitis, viral sore throat, for example), a trip to a busy surgery all for the sake of a piece of paper and a signature can seem rather pointless and annoying. In fact, it may even be harmful, as it encourages spread of infection (one sudden spew in a waiting room can infect numerous people with airborne virus within minutes!). Not to mention the fact that a chunk of precious sick leave gets spent travelling and queueing- instead of resting and recovering.
Happily, there are now several online doctor services offering medical certificates. This is a massive win for common sense. Yes, there’ll always be a small handful of people who abuse services like this- but those same people can just as easily go to their local doctor and tell a lie to get a day off. The vast majority of people simply need a medical certificate for work, and want to obtain it with minimal fuss, preferably the same day (and, as we all know, it can often be a problem getting to see a GP on the day you’re actually ill). All in all, it’s far more important that the “honest majority” of people can access the benefits of services like this, rather than getting hung up on the tiny percentages of people who will always look for ways to cheat the system.
Most online doctor services are staffed by regular doctors who work in clinics, and who also offer a certain amount of online healthcare. It is not possible for someone to be an online doctor without being a fully registered “regular” doctor too. If in doubt, you can ask for their AHPRA number (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency number) which tells you they are legitimate, and have all the necessary qualifications. A Medicare provider number is also an indicator that the doctor meets all the criteria to practice.
So, next time you feel under the weather, rather than checking in to the local doctor’s surgery, check out the option of an online doctor for your medical certificate. And crawl back under your doona for the day!