App to access doctors

24-hour medical care without having to clog emergency departments

BANYULE residents can get free and urgent after hours medical care through a video consultation using a new smartphone medical app.

They can use the My Emergency Dr app to access specialist emergency doctors when their regular GP isn’t available.

The Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network is funding access until the end of May to the app for residents in its catchment area, including Banyule.

Network chief executive Robin Whyte said the service aimed to prevent people going to hospital emergency departments after hours if it was unnecessary.

“The app allows the user to not only speak with a specialist emergency doctor but also to share video and pictures to assist in care giving,” she said.

Dr Justin Bowra, the chief executive of My Emergency Dr, said the service would help residents who couldn’t contact their normal doctor or were unsure if they needed to go to an emergency department. All doctors working for the 24-hour app are Australian registered specialist emergency doctors able to order diagnostic tests, write prescriptions, refer patients to other specialists or recommend patients attend an emergency department if necessary.

Every assessment is completed with a follow-up letter to their regular doctor.

Residents can download the app and quote their postcode for help after hours.