For too long the only options available to students in terms of accessing medical advice was the unenviable choice between WebMD; a lengthy wait for the college medical service, or having to shell out potentially over €50 for a GP appointment. Consequently, most students, short of them having lost a limb or suffering an injury/ ailment of equal severity, inevitably fall into the murky embrace of WebMD to give them a firm diagnosis for whatever ails them. However, WebMD typically asserts that - contrary to your presumption that you may have had a slight cold - you are in fact in the latter stages of the Bubonic Plague and beyond the point of being saved by medical intervention. After this you invariably end up resorting to either of the latter two options anyway - but now in a blind panic and unsure whether that's the cause of your cold sweat or whether it's one of the swiftly oncoming symptoms of the plague.
Well, this vicious cycle of wasting your money or time on accessing rudimentary health care is over. All USI students in Ireland - sorry UCD students - will from today until June 2018 be able to access a free online GP consultation using VideoDoc - an online healthcare provider.
The partnership has been launched as part of the USI's Healthy Living Week initiative. It will entitle all 374,000 student USI members around the country to access VideoDoc as needed. VideoDoc is an Irish company that offers online GP services in Ireland. Using the VideoDoc App or the VideoDoc website, patients with a desktop or mobile device can log in from anywhere and talk to a GP through a secure video link.
Each doctor is registered with the Irish Medical Council and the VideoDoc online GP service is available from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
Speaking at the launch Michael Kerrigan, USI President said "We are delighted to partner with VideoDoc to provide free GP healthcare to our members. With the high cost of living and accommodation being the main factor in student poverty, our students can now rest assured that if they get sick they can save money on a GP visit with VideoDoc."