VideoDoc has successfully launched a ground-breaking partnership with Fogarty’s Quickpick and Post Office in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare, offering online GP and medical consultations from the convenience of the Postmaster’s premises. Commencing immediately, locals of Ballymore Eustace and the surrounding Kildare community can access a private medical booth, called ‘The Hub’, to gain instant, on-demand and secure access to an Irish Medical Council registered doctor.
The first offering of its kind for Postmasters, the trial will be monitored for suitability for national rollout, including Sligo, to other members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union, and is expected to form one of the pilots for additional social services provided by Postmasters, recently approved by Government.
Primarily for minor ailments or straightforward consultations, doctors will have the ability to triage, treat, diagnose, prescribe and follow up with patients. The booth will also offer access to other health consultations such as dermatology – operated remotely by VideoDoc, with the potential for future inclusion of many other health services. Additional business
The Hub will also include additional business, personal and social services such as photocopying, printing, laminating, internet access, phone charging and a coffee area. The project provides an example of additional in demand services which can be provided in communities by Postmasters through greater use of technology. Nurse Orla Power, Sean Fogarty owner of Fogartys Quickpick and Post Office Ballymore Eustace, and Mary O Brien, CEO VideoDoc, in the booth at the launch of the pilot of the first ever online GP Postmaster service. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke
Commenting on the announcement, VideoDoc CEO Mary O’Brien said: “We are delighted to be launching this pilot Hub project with Postmaster Sean Fogarty. “This online GP consultation service is ideally suited for communities where access to traditional GP support may be difficult and Postmasters are the ideal providers of the booth, given the centrality of their premises and public trust they are held in.” “We look forward to servicing the people of Ballymore Eustace and working with Postmasters to expand this offering to many other communities.
Welcoming the launch, the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU), General Secretary Ned O’Hara, said: “This first-ever Postmaster provided VideoDoc service is a very exciting initiative and demonstrates how Postmasters’ role can be adapted and expanded in an increasingly technology driven world.
“Postmasters are the heart of rural communities that struggle to access vital services such as a GP consultation. The IPU looks forward to monitoring the success of this pilot and to its expansion across the Network.” 'Access to GPs'
Postmaster Sean Fogarty said: “I am really delighted to be operating the first VideoDoc service, which will provide a much-needed boost to our community. Like many towns across Ireland, access to GPs is difficult, as people must travel significant distances – if they are in a position to travel, that is. This technology will help our community overcome this obstacle. It is a needed service that Postmasters are well-placed to provide.”
VideoDoc will be offered through a web portal in the Medical Booth. It has been built with patient privacy in mind and complies with Ireland’s Data Protection Act and the US HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).