Online Medical Certificates. Good Or Bad Idea?

What are your thoughts on medical certificates?

Are they something useful, and necessary to “prove” that an employee is unfit for work?

Or, are they one of those “we have always done it” things?

What if you received a certificate from the Melbourne based online doctor, Qoctor?

Aren’t All Certificates The Same?

My go-to “expert” has a few things to say on this matter.

If I understand the article correctly, he isn’t a fan of them.

In fact, I would go further and suggest that he doesn’t think they are worth the paper they are written on.

Sadly, this ‘expert’ doesn’t appear to have a modern view on this.

For some reason, this ‘expert’ thinks that these pieces of paper aren’t the same as those from a face to face visit. He even claims that they will cause a headache for employers.

It seems that in the mind of this ‘expert’, a piece of paper from a doctor is more important than that from a pharmacist. Which is in turn more important than that from Qoctor. If, a level of importance can be put on a Qoctor certificate in the first place.

Qoctor Is Actually A Good Thing

Instead of taking this “expert’s” word about Qoctor, I decided to head on over and check it out for myself.

And this is what I discovered.

To get a medical certificate, you will need to answer/confirm a series of questions, including.

That you aren’t seriously unwell, you just need a certificate.
That you don’t have a serious condition (examples are listed)
That you haven’t had a previous serious condition (examples are listed).

You will also need to confirm that in your belief, that you don’t need to see a GP in person, and that if you get worse, you will see on.

Is the Qoctor system open to exploitation?

Sure it is, in much the same way that going to a GP in person is.

Time To Drop The Archaic Attitude

I don’t know about you, though for me, I would rather someone pay $20 out of their own pocket for an online certificate.

The alternative is that they get Medicare to pay nearly twice as much, and put further strain on the system.

What I would like to know is why do employers even want a medical certificate in the first place?

If your employee says that they are unfit to attend work, why would you want them to sit in a medical centre exposed to who knows what, for a piece of paper? A piece of paper that has an alternative, that can be provided at a cheaper cost.

Turning up to a GP in person isn’t going to make a person less likely to fake it, than they would if having a skype consultation.

Time to get rid of medical certificates all together, and use statutory declarations.

If you have hired right, and have competent managers, they shouldn’t be a problem.

Plus on the other side of the coin, if an employee is caught out lying on a stat dec, the penalties are far worse. It is a criminal offence to knowingly provide false information.

What happens in your workplace?

Do employees still need a note from mum (Dr) to prove why they had a day off?


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