While many universities provide on-campus healthcare, the waiting times for appointments can often be incredibly prohibitive. Students queuing for a consultation will often find that, when the time eventually comes for them to be seen, enough time will have elapsed that they are by now cured of whatever ailment had brought them there, but they are now be at risk from various illnesses related to old-agef. The other option, of visiting a private GP, is a deplorably expensive prospect to most students. It is not unusual for GPs in cities to charge €65-€70 per appointment, and this will mean the majority of students are put in the unenviable position of having to decide between receiving basic medical care and purchasing food for the month - typically €65-€70s worth of various instant noodle flavours.
Thankfully, there is a fantastic initiative which is being expanded this year in the hope of making it available to a greater number of students. It has been announced that videoDoc, Ireland's leading digital healthcare provider, will be allowing students to avail of their service free of charge from today until the end of the academic year in June 2019. The service will be available to all 374,000 student members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). It is open seven days a week between the hours of 8am-10pm.
The service allows students to have a video consultation with a doctor registered with the Irish Medical Council. Using either the website or the videoDoc app students can get a consultation with a doctor within minutes, and if a prescription is needed they can get it forwarded to a pharmacy of their choice.
While the thought of exhibiting your various bodily ailments on a webcam may feel like something from the deep, dark past of ChatRoulette, it is a fantastic service for students that should be readily availed of.