USI partnership to offer free virtual GP service to students

VideoDoc, an Irish digital healthcare provider, has joined with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to provide students with free online GP services. The free healthcare consultancy service will be available to Trinity students as well as students in Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB), and Institute of Technology, Tallaght (ITT).

Students will be able to virtually meet with doctors who are registered with the Irish Medical Council (IMC) and that have a minimum of three years on the IMC Specialist Register, from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. The launch of the VideoDoc program with USI is part of the unions Healthy Living Week initiative. The campaign aims to promote health and wellbeing in all 37 of the union’s campus’. The USI deal waives the typical €20 fee for its service.

In a statement made to The Irish Times by VideoDoc co-founder Mary O’Brien said: “Students who need to see a doctor but are far from their family GP, or too busy to attend a surgery between regular nine-to-five working hours can now log on from anywhere and be treated within minutes.”

VideoDocs aims to provide immediate diagnosis on everyday illnesses, advice on health issues, and with issuing sick notes and prescriptions. The use of the service does come with the warning that it is not for emergency services or when experiencing severe chest or abdominal pain, difficulty speaking or breathing, any stroke symptoms, weakness, or numbness as these can be signs of more serious health problem that require immediate hands-on medical attention.

USI President Michael Kerrigan spoke at the launch of the new partnership: “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.”

Kerrigan continued: “USI Healthy Living Week is part of our month long health and wellbeing campaign making sure students are educated and enabled to look after their own physical and mental health. This no-cost service will help students, and save them money.”

At the end of the year, VideoDoc intends to re-assess and evaluate the service to see the response from students, with this current deal set to terminate at the end of this term, June 2018.